MON STATE, Myanmar - According to a statement released by the Karen National Union (KNU) on Sunday, current military strikes in Mon State and Bago Region have displaced more than 150,000 people.
Heavy shelling by regime forces in Mon State's Thaton District and Bago Region's Nyaunglebin Township, controlled by KNU brigades, has forced 154,866 civilians to flee their homes, according to the statement.
If these figures are correct, they represent a dramatic escalation of the humanitarian crisis in eastern Myanmar and other parts of the country where there has been strong opposition to last year's coup.
According to figures released on July 31 by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the military takeover and its aftermath have resulted in over 866,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the country.
According to OCHA estimates, when combined with the number of people displaced by pre-coup conflicts, the current number of IDPs in the country exceeds 1.2 million.
According to the KNU's statement, there were also a large number of IDPs in the Karen State.
According to the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG), the military has also hampered efforts to assist IDPs by barring groups and individuals from transporting supplies to those in need.