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Schools in Three Pagoda Pass reopen; town tense

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Three Pagoda Pass still lives in fear, but schools that were closed after gunmen attacked a gold shop last week reopened on Monday. Less than half the total number of students attended classes, according to teachers.
The Karen National Liberation Army is reportedly moving columns of troops around the Three Pagoda Pass area, where tensions are high following a rocket attack last week on a gold shop. Photo: MizzimaMore than 5,000 students attend four primary schools, a middle school and a high school, but only 700 students attended their school on Monday, teachers said.
A rumour that five columns of troops from the Karen National Liberation Army had approached Three Pagoda Pass made residents fearful.
‘It doesn’t matter if my child cannot attend school this year; I don’t want my child to be disabled or dead’, a mother in Ward No.3 told Mizzima.
The Burmese government’s Infantry Battalion 284 and Light Infantry Battalion 566 are positioned around Three Pagoda Pass. On Thursday, they ordered people in suburban areas to move to the downtown area.
More than 1,500 people from 300 families around Oodaung Lake have left their homes to go to downtown Three Pagoda Pass and other areas, according to residents.
Government troops are sandbagging and digging trenches around their positions. Some roads have been blocked.
On June 14, gunmen fired on the Aung Tin Win gold shop-cum-home in downtown Three Pagoda Pass where the Karen National Union, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army and New Mon State Party have their operations.
Similarly, on June 5, four masked gunmen fired into the government’s Military Affairs Security office and a religious hall.  
On November 8, 2010, a day after Burma’s general election, fighting between government troops and DKBA Battalion 907 broke out in Three Pagoda Pass.

Last Updated ( Monday, 20 June 2011 20:57 )  

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