Nearly one thousand civilians fled the small town of Moe Bye, on the Kayah-Shan border, yesterday to avoid coming clashes, a spokesperson of Moe Bye Rescue Team has said.
“About a thousand of people from four or five wards in Moe Bye township fled their homes following the military’s shelling yesterday. They see the potential for coming clashes. People fled to nearby farms and townships, or to the monastery downtown. Local residents don’t want clashes near or in the town,” he told DVB.
Yesterday, the military had fired at least ten artillery shells at Moe Bye’s residents; six civilians, including a 10 and twelve-year-old were injured, and a 44-year-old woman died of a head injury, Moe Bye’s People Defense Force said.
The clash yesterday took place near the town’s exit; five military vehicles carrying about 50 soldiers from Loikaw to Fekon were ambushed by Moe Bye PDF and the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force BO-3. At least ten soldiers were killed, according to the PDF.
“After the ambush, the Burma Army’s 422 Battalion, based in Moe Bye, fired at least ten heavy artillery shells at a residential area,” Moe Bye’s PDF said.
A spokesperson for the PDF told DVB that his group believed that the junta had ordered 200 reinforcements from Pinlon to Phekon to arrive on foot. The group is expecting intense clashes in the coming days.
Moe Bye PDF has advised local residents to find safe places to shelter, telling Moe Bye’s citizens that, in light of further attacks, their safety is the PDF’s top priority.
On May 23, 40 soldiers were reported to have been killed by the KNDF after intense fighting in the town saw resistance forces take Moe Bye’s police station, which was later burned down.
Photo Credit- Mobye Rescue Team/PDF Pekhon & Loikaw