KARENNI STATE, Myanmar - According to witnesses, the military conducted an airstrike on Loikaw, Karenni (Kayah) State on Tuesday, delivering seven bombs from two fighter jets on the capital's Maing Lone district in just over 15 minutes before 6 p.m.
The military council cut off power to several wards, including Maing Lone, on January 6. The entire township has been without power since January 9. According to residents, water supply and Wi-Fi services had also been disrupted due to the lack of energy.
According to a local, the only option to connect to the internet in Loikaw is via mobile data from military-operated telecoms carriers MPT and Mytel.
Locals from Maing Lone, Pan Kan, and Ywar Tan Shey wards began leaving on January 8 as the military pounded the township from the ground and air amid a power outage.
According to Karenni media sources, over 40,000 people-more than half of Loikaw's population-had evacuated their houses on Tuesday.
"Most of the people who remain in the township are those who stayed behind to protect their homes against thieves, those who are stranded in monasteries, those who could not afford to travel, and those who couldn't find transportation," a resident said.
Several abandoned houses had been broken into and plundered, with robbers allegedly observed driving stolen stuff away on 12-wheeled vehicles.
According to witnesses, they took bikes, generators, and refrigerators.
On Tuesday, the Loikaw chapter of the anti-junta People's Defence Force published a statement threatening severe action against the thieves.