KARENNI STATE- Locals reported that the Junta Battalion (261) based in Loikaw City has been firing heavy weapons towards the villages since Tuesday morning (June 27).
“They have been opening fire since this morning for no apparent reason, and the phone lines around Loikko town are also down,” stated the local.
“There is no ongoing fight here. Only civilian villages are on the side they are shooting at. The phone lines have been cut off since around the time they started firing heavy shelling. MPT’s phone line still has signals but can’t get internet access. Ooredoo and Telenor phone lines have lost their signals. Only Mytel (a Junta-owned telecom service) has a full assessment now,” he said.
According to a person close to Loikaw PDF, some public houses were damaged due to Junta’s heavy fire, but the exact casualties are not yet known.
In the past few days, the junta council has relocated the families of soldiers from Batallion-261 and the non-CDM employees from the Six Flags staff housing.
After that, backup soldiers are flown to Loikaw Airport to expand the military force. Locals are concerned about the re-emerging battles in the area as the junta troops started opening fire with heavy weapons after such a military expansion.
Locals said that although there has been no recent fighting in Loikaw, the military council may strengthen the force in the town and launch an offensive later in Karenni State.
A military analyst stated that the junta regime is using the strategy of expanding its forces by focusing on the Loikaw airport due to the landmine attacks and interception attacks on reinforcing military vehicles (on land) by resistance forces in Loikaw city.