Shardaw in Kayah State devastated due to renewed conflict by KNPP, KNDF and PDF

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Khit (NP News) - July 10

During a recent inquiry, an official with firsthand experience of the conflict in Shartaw Township informed The Statesman that the town was devastated by hostilities perpetrated by armed groups, allied by the KNPP, KNDF, and PDF terrorists.

Shardaw has been developed into a town from the village status in recent years after signing the ceasefire between rebels and the gover­nment. Howe­ver, the town has been turned into chaos as resulting of the ongoing armed conflicts. "Shardaw was originally a village," the official explained. "Armed groups, including the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), operated in the vicinity for many years. In 1988, the area was designated as a conflict zone. After 2011, the KNPP signed a ceasefire agreement, and the village became home to both Kayah and Burmese ethnicities. Various development initiatives were then undertaken in the area."

Prior to 2011, Shardaw was a village with a limited commercial presence consisting only of a small exchange office and a clinic with a pharmacy. However, after the ceasefire agreement, the village transitioned into a thriving town, becoming a central hub for trade and transportation. The official described the area's transformation as significant economic development.

"The government also permitted farming and agricultural businesses to thrive. The business industries were developed, and the size of the population increased as a result. Transportation channels were opened, connecting Loikaw to Shardaw. The distribution of electricity was also sufficient for the town," the official continued.

According to the information provided, hostilities commenced within the town on 3 February morning. The affiliated terrorist forces of the KNPP, KNDF, and PDF reportedly numbered around 700 which forced the security forces to withdraw from the area.

The joint forces of KNPP, KNDF, and PDF exceeding 700 launched an attack. Tatmadaw forces were compelled to execute a tactical withdrawal. Later that day, in the aftermath of the engagement, five individuals – one male, two females, and two children – were detained from the opposing side. The male was retained, while the females and children were not. Tragically, these latter individuals were reportedly killed upon returning to their side.

Following the outbreak of hostilities, the town Shardaw suffered significant damages, with trade and transportation grinding to a halt. The three-month conflict caused widespread destruction in Shardaw, with the official also acknowledging that there were injuries sustained by lower-ranking members of the Tatmadaw.

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