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Residents in Three Pagoda Pass living in fear; schools close

Chiang Mai (Mizzima)  – In fear of more violence after gunmen attacked a gold shop on Tuesday in Three Pagoda Pass in Karen State, local authorities on Thursday afternoon ordered all schools to be closed for security reasons.

The Aung Tin Win gold shop in Three Pagoda Pass which was attacked on Tuesday by six men with rocket grenades and bombs. Residents have closed schools fearing more fighting in the Burma-Thailand border town. Photo: MizzimaOn Tuesday, gunmen fired on the Aung Tin Win gold shop-cum-home in downtown Three Pagoda Pass on the Thai-Burmese border, injuring six people. The attack was mounted with rocket grenades and bombs.

In Three Pagoda Pass, a total of more than 5,000 students attend four primary schools, a middle school and a high school.

‘The whole town is in the state of fear. It is very quiet’, a businessman in Three Pagoda Pass told Mizzima.

Infantry Battalion 284 and Light Infantry Battalion 566 arrived in Three Pagoda Pass on Wednesday and have taken up positions around Oodaung Lake. Government troops are sandbagging and digging trenches at locations around Three Pagoda Pass.

Meanwhile, a plan to conduct a Buddhist ceremony in Three Pagoda Pass was postponed. An organizer told Mizzima, ‘We planned to hold it for 15 days. But, we had to halt it after seven days. Sayadaw [Buddhist monks] felt angry and decided to stop’.

Many residents, worried that further violence will break out in Three Pagoda Pass, are leaving the area.
Three Pagoda Pass is home to forces representing the Karen National Union, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the New Mon State Party.

On June 5, three masked gunmen fired on the Military Affairs Security office.  

On November 8, 2010, a day after Burma’s general election, fighting between government troops and DKBA Battalion 907 erupted in Three Pagoda Pass.

Last Updated ( Friday, 17 June 2011 11:44 )  

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