An interview with a local from Maltaro village near Chaung Hna Khwa Bridge about the latest development about Chaung Hnakhwa fighting and the situation of civilians.
The joint force of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and People’s Defense Force (PDF) attacked the military council soldiers stationed at the police station and Chaung Hna Khwa Bridge checkpoint in Kyaikmayaw Township in Mon State, on 10 November.
Fighting continues till 16 November. The military council’s airstrikes and heavy shelling have resulted in civilian casualties and the destruction of civilian houses.
Locals from more than ten villages in Chaung Hna Khawa region are trapped as the military council has closed roads since the start of fighting.
The Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA) interviewed a local from Maltaro village near Chaung Hna Khawa where fighting is taking place, about the situations about battles and locals.
Q: May I know the current situation in Chaung Hna Khwa?
A: Fighting continues to take place every day. The military council fires heavy shells. Now there is no airstrike.
Q: It is known that all the roads are closed following the fighting. May I know the current situation about the roads? Now do the roads reopen?
A: All the roads remain closed. The road from Taungkalay to Kadar is closed. No one can go. The villagers can’t run away due to the closures of roads after the fighting. Many people are trapped in the villages. Around one-tenth of the people can run away. The people are not allowed to go out of the villages through the roads. Some villagers go out of the villages through forest roads and water routes.
Q: Is there any casualties from fighting? What do you know about it?
A: In the fighting, the military conducts airstrikes and shelling. The shelling burned down the houses and killed domestic animals. One or two rounds of shells landed on the village. Shelling hit and killed two children in Pawlawkone village. Some people from Maltaro village were also wounded.
Q: The news emerged that the PDF has taken control of police station and bridge in Chaung Hna Khwa. May I know the situation about it?
A: I have heard that Karen force captured the police station and bridge and is stationed there. However, I don’t know exactly as no one dares to go there.
Q: Where are the displaced people living? Is the number of displaced populations high?
A: There is an IDP camp at the monastery in Kyunywa. There is also an IDP camp in Kanarlo. Some displaced people are taking shelter in the houses of their relatives. There are many people trapped in the village. There are more than 50 displaced people in each place. Some people who are trapped in the village face difficulty in the availability of food. There are many displaced people in Chaung Hna Khwa and Maltaro.
Q: How about the fighting situation? What could happen next?
A: Fighting will take a longer period of time if one side will not withdraw. Under the current situation, the other side is advancing with the enforcement of troops. Both sides have gained momentum. I think fighting will continue for a longer period of time.
Sent by IMNA.