Bangkok Desk, Apr 13 (EFE).- At least 20 people have died due to Myanmar military air strikes and ground attacks in areas of northern Karen State controlled by ethnic armed groups, where at least 24,000 people have been forcibly displaced, an NGO on the ground reported Tuesday.
Despite the fact that the air strikes stopped on Apr. 2, fighter jets continue to fly over the area, near the border with Thailand, on a daily basis as ground attacks continue, according to the Free Burma Rangers in a statement.
“Many villagers still haven’t returned to their homes or been able to plant new crops because they can see or hear the jets flying and are living in fear of more bombing raids,” it added.
The organization said that daily attacks with mortars and other weapons took place in the area over Apr. 3-12, killing a 60-year-old man and injuring at least five people, including an 11-year-old girl. They caused extensive damage to houses, schools and hospitals and forced thousands of people to flee.
Another 20 other people have also lost their lives throughout the country due to bombings and military attacks on areas controlled by armed rebel groups.
The Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces) on Monday attacked a Kachin Independent Army (KIA) base in northeastern Kachin state, where the conflict has escalated in recent weeks.
Bombs fell on villages, killing at least three civilians, according to Irrawaddy news outlet.
Several ethnic armed groups, who have for years fought for greater autonomy, although some have signed ceasefires, have expressed their support for the civil disobedience movement and have demanded that the military junta stop killing civilians.
More than 700 people have died as a result of the brutal repression carried out by the authorities against civilians, according to the data verified by the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners.
The military justifies the coup alleging fraud in the November election, in which leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won by a landslide, and which was deemed legitimate by international observers. EFE