Urgent aid needed for 1500 residents after junta shelling set Dhamma Tha village ablaze

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More than 300 houses were burned down in Dhamma Tha village in Kyaikmaraw Township, Mon State, after artillery shells fired by the military council’s naval forces on the Gyaing River landed and exploded in the village, leaving around 1,500 fire victims in need of urgent assistance, according to relief workers.

The fire victims are currently sheltering in the Dhamma Tha village monastery as well as in the caves of Kyauk Tone Yay Baw and Mein Ma Leik mountains, and are struggling to find food and shelter, according to reports.

A member of a relief team said, “They are staying in the valley at the moment. For now, a group from Singapore is donating 1 million kyat per day and we are distributing supplies. Their situation is difficult, with no food. Not only have they been displaced by the fighting, they have also lost their homes and are now left with nothing.”

The junta’s naval forces on the Gyaing River attacked the village with heavy weapons at around 3pm on 27 March. The shells hit the houses in the village and set several houses on fire. The fire spread and reduced around one-third of the houses in the village to ashes.

According to local sources, the extent of the damage was exacerbated by the fact that no fire engines or personnel were available to extinguish the fires due to security concerns during the incident.

While there were no civilian casualties, wooden houses and two-storey buildings including motorcycles were destroyed, with the estimated damage amounting to several million kyat.

Dhamma Tha village in Kyaikmaraw has over 1,000 households with a population of over 5,000.

Although there were no armed clashes between the two sides in Dhamma Tha village, the junta forces indiscriminately fired artillery shells at the village from land and river due to the fighting in nearby Kawt Bein village in Kawkareik Township in Karen State, terrifying the residents.

Sent by IMNA.

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