Villagers from Kyauk Gu in Three Pagoda township said Burma Army soldiers randomly shelled their homes, destroying houses and killing cattle.
Kyauk Gu residents say the Burma Army fired about 40, 60 mm mortars into the village after fighting between Karen armed groups and the Burma Army, Light Infantry Battalion 543 under Military Operations Command 5.
A local resident told Karen News.
“Villagers took cover in bomb shelters we constructed under our homes. About 13 artillery shells landed in the village and about another 27 exploded outside.”
The villager said Burma Army soldiers then came into the village.
“They [Burma Army] randomly shot into our houses. They also forced a villager to pay them a 1,000 Thai Baht.”
Karen armed groups confirmed the fighting happened. The LIB 543 was sent to reinforce Burma Army soldiers stationed at Three Pagoda Region who are fighting a combined Karen fighting force made up of fighters from the Karen National Liberation Army Battalion 16 and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army Battalion 902. The fighting in recent days has been concentrated around the villages of Kyauk Gu and Thet Kel.
Captain Saw A One, the DKBA 902 column commander told Karen News that they had wounded two Burma Army soldiers in the skirmish.
“There was fighting between 20 soldiers from our joint Karen operation and the Burma army LIB 543 in the Kyauk Gu area. We seriously injured two Burma Army soldiers, but all our fighters are fine.”
Captain Saw A One said the combined Karen force had also carried out an ambush on Burma Army soldiers from LIB 566 between Myaing Tar Yar and A Pa Lone villages in Three Pagoda area. Captain Saw A One confirmed that the combined Karen units were using ambushes against Burma army soldiers in the area and said in August his fighters had killed one Burma army soldier and injured another from LIB 566 near Kyauk Gu village.
The combined Karen fighting force are an indication that the DKBA will continue to show the Burma government’s plans to dissolve and unarm all of the country’s ceasefire groups and fold them into a Border Guard Force is not working.
In recent bulletins in the state-controlled media a statement from the Kayin State Democracy and Development Party declare that “there is no more DKBA” – the recent fighting of the Karen fighting units clearly demonstrates that this is not the case.