Civilian witnesses in Three Pagoda Pass town said yesterday evening, in what regional security agencies say is an unusual twist to the on-going conflict between the Karen fighters and the Burma army, two gun-men on a motorbike, shot up Burma army soldiers from IB 284 in town, wounding two soldiers. So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, the Burma army is moving reinforcements into the Three Pagodas Pass area of Kyain Seikgyi Township in Karen State, in preparation to engage with Karen fighters, according to army sources.
Captain Htae Nay from KNLA Brigade 6 told Karen News that the Burma army plans for their military offensive is a result of attacks repeatedly carried out in recent weeks by Karen forces in the area.
“Karen fighters attacked the Sa Ya Pha [Military Affair Security Unit] office in Three Pagodas Pass town and Mae Ka Tha village. WE expect [Burma army] their preparation is because of this. I suspect they want to enforce their security in Three Pagodas Pass.”
Sources close to the Burma army said in retaliation to the attacks by Karen forces, South Eastern Military Command put their troops along the borders and at other camps in the area on standby and to be ready to fight.
The Burma army also ordered all soldiers to have their artillery prepared to support frontline soldiers. Additional troops were also sent to the area to support the existing LIB’s in the region.
A Three Pagodas Pass town resident said.
“Officers from the Burma army camp near the town said that to secure the town, an Infantry Battalion 106 of more than 300 soldiers would be sent as support.”
The Burma army officer said that to combat Karen forces operating in Kawkreik Township, South Eastern Military Command also issued orders for their frontline artillery battalions to be ready to reinforce ground troops.
Last week a combined force made up of soldiers from the Karen National Liberation Army, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army killed eight Burmese soldiers and wounded seven more near Lamphan village – 19 miles south of Kawkreik town.