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Karenni troops launch attack on Burmese Army outpost

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Karenni troops launched a full armed assault on a Burmese Army outpost in Loikaw Township, Karenni State last week, according to a report on a Karenni party website. Four junta troops and one Karenni were killed.

Karenni Army troops (above) train for battle. An outpost of the 247 Infantry Battalion of the Burmese Army, based at Daw Tamugyi village, was raided at dawn on October 16 by Karenni troops. Photo: Sai Wan MaiThe outpost of the 247 Infantry Battalion of the Burmese Army based at Daw Tamugyi village was raided on October 16 in a surprise dawn attack by Karenni troops led by Captain Phe Bu. The attack lasted for about 10 minutes, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) website reported.

A senior KNPP official said: “During the attack, four Burmese soldiers were killed and the other four were detained by Karenni troops. We lost one man and three were wounded. Besides, we managed to seize some weapons from the Burmese troops.”

“However, our soldiers released the detainees after the fight calmed down. We handed them to the abbot of the village temple,” Phe Bu said.

The captain however failed to comment on the reason for the attack.

Prior to the assault, the Burmese Army unit had reportedly been oppressing villagers in the area, demanding that they perform forced labour.

According to a Karenni Aid worker in the area, “After the fight, the headman and the assistant of Daw Tamugyi village were arrested by the Burmese Army, which sent them to Loikaw. The reasons behind the arrests were unknown.”

However, he offered that, “Villagers always paid for the price for the clashes.”

The KNPP was set up in 1957 as the political wing of the Karenni Army. It is the only armed Karenni group that still fights against the Burmese regime while many of its Karenni fellow groups, the Karenni Nationalities People’s Liberation Front (KNPLF) and the Karenni National Defence Army (KNSO) have already become part of the Border Guard Force.

In the meantime, the KNPP allied itself with ethnic armed opposition groups such as the Shan State Army South and the Karen National Union, which are fighting for various levels of autonomy. The ethnic armed groups hold strong bases along the Thai-Burmese border.

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