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Heavy shelling during renewed Burma Army offensive causes civilian deaths and further displacement of hundreds in central Shan State

Burma Army operations against the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (a.k.a Shan State Army-North or SSA-N) in central Shan State since early October have caused widespread damage, loss of civilian lives, and further displacement of hundreds of villagers in Ke See township.
 
Between October 2-4, 2014, deploying a combined force of nine battalions with at least 2,000 troops, the Burma Army launched a renewed offensive against SSPP/SSA positions in Ke See. Hundreds of artillery shells (60, 81 and 120 mm) were fired, including at civilian targets. Two elderly villagers were killed and one severely injured. Two other village leaders were shot and killed on their way to market. Burma Army troops have also committed abuses such as beating and looting of villagers’ property.
 
 The heavy shelling of the Ta Pasaung area caused several hundred villagers from Wan Ngoo Lerm to flee their homes. Shells also landed in Wan Warp village, where about 300 IDPs from Wan Pasaung have been sheltering for the past three months.
 
There has been a lull in the offensive since October 5, after the Burma Army seized several SSPP/SSA positions, but they are continuing to send truckloads of reinforcements to the area, and local residents fear renewed fighting at any time.
 
The Shan Human Rights Foundation strongly condemns this large scale military operation by the government’s army, which is not only causing widespread destruction and harm to local civilians, but also directly undermining trust in the peace process. SHRF urges the Burmese government to show sincerity towards the peace process by ending this offensive and immediately pulling back its troops from the SSPP/SSA areas.