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Dooplaya District Situation Update: Fighting, indiscriminate shelling, displacement, landmine injuries, travel restrictions and torture, December 2021 to February 2022

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This Situation Update describes events that occurred in Kaw T’Ree (Kawkareik), Noh T’Kaw (Kyainseikgyi) and Waw Ray (Win Yay) townships in Dooplaya District between December 2021 and February 2022, including fighting, indiscriminate shelling, displacement, landmine explosions and torture. Fighting and indiscriminate shelling have caused the death and injury of villagers and their livestock, property damage and prolonged displacement. IDPs are facing more challenges in their temporary shelters due to strong winds and heavy rain. The constant fighting and increased military activity have led to more livelihood challenges for the local villagers. A teenage boy stepped on an SAC landmine and lost one of his legs. A villager was tortured by State Administration Council (SAC) soldiers following fighting between the SAC and Karen National Liberation Army.

Noh T’Kaw (Kyainseikgyi) Township

Fighting and indiscriminate shelling

At around 8:00 am on December 31st 2021, fighting broke out between State Administration Council (SAC) Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #432 and an unknown group in Than P’Yan village, Dali village tract, Noh T’Kaw Township, Dooplaya District, and the fighting lasted for a few minutes. During the fighting, the SAC fired mortars into the village killing a female villager named Ma Thun Hla.

The SAC increased their activity in Noh T’Kaw Township since the first day of January 2022. Since January 1st 2022, SAC soldiers from LIB #432 have been shooting on a nightly basis. Although there have not been any injuries, it has created fear among the villagers. The villagers did not dare to go out at night because if they went out at night, they would have had to use a torchlight and they did not dare to use it [if villagers use a torchlight, they are at risk of being seen by SAC soldiers, who may shoot at them or arrest them]. They [the villagers] were also afraid to go and tap their rubber trees, which has created livelihood challenges for the villagers.

On January 4th 2022, the person who was in charge [commander] of SAC LIB #432 met with the Kyain village head and asked him to tell the People’s Defence Force (PDF) not to attack them [SAC soldiers] when they enter the village.

On January 20th 2022, fighting occurred between the SAC and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Battalion #18 in Aaw Hpa Lay village, Aaw Hpa Hpadoh village tract, Noh T’Kaw Township, Dooplaya District. Approximately 354 villagers fled to B--- village, and other nearby places. On January 21st 2022, the SAC indiscriminately fired mortars into the local area. On January 22nd 2022, villagers continued fleeing to L--- and B--- villages, Yaw K’Daw village tract as the fighting continued. While fleeing for their lives, they faced food shortages and some were injured [during displacement].