A combined force of Karen fighters launched an attack on a Burma Army outpost at Kyaung Sha Kone area in Myawaddy Township killing four soldiers and destroying a bus, according to the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.
Major San Aung, a DKBA spokeperson, confirmed that on September 25, a combined force of Karen fighters from the DKBA’s Klo Htoo Wah Tactical Command and the Karen National Liberation Army attacked Burma Army Infantry Battalion 97 and Light Infantry Battalion 357 for about an hour.
“We attacked the Burma army’s camp at about 1 pm. Major Kyaw Thet, the Klo Htoo Wah Tactical Commander led the attack. We killed four enemy soldiers for no casualties on our side.”
Later on the same day the combined Karen fighters destroyed a bus on Kawkareik to Myawaddy road. The bus is owned jointly local Union Solidarity and Development Party’s members and Border Guard Force commanders from the Lower Botae area, northeast of Myawaddy Town.
Major San Aung, in response to questions from Karen News, explained that the Karen fighters were under orders to destroy or sabotage businesses aligned to the Burma army or its militia allies.
“Our Commander, Major General Saw Lah Pwe ordered us to sabotage any business run for the personal profit of the USDP and leaders of armed groups allied to them. We won’t destroy or touch property belonging to civilians.”
A driver who witnessed the firefight spoke to Karen News.
“The driver of that [burnt] bus was a little bit tough. At first, the soldiers demanded 200,000 Kyat but the driver said whether the soldier liked it or not, he would only pay 60,000 Kyat. The Karen soldiers asked passengers to leave the bus and they then burned it.”
The driver said the owner of the bus arrived too late to negotiate.
“The owner was late arriving and the bus had already been burnt. The bus driver won’t have lost much, but the bus owner did.”
Major San Aung said that while the Karen fighter were setting fire to the bus, a Burma Army artillery battalion based near Kawkareik Town shelled mortars into the area.
Drivers and traders using the Myawaddy-Kawkareik road said that DKBA had destroyed a truck linked to Border Guard Force leader, Major General Maung Chit Thu.
Early this year, the DKBA, under the command of Major General Saw Lah Pwe issued a tax order informing all vehicles using the Kawkariek to Myawaddy road that they had to pay a yearly tax to the DKBA.
DKBA sources say to counter the surge in Burma Army operations in the area, Karen fighters have launched responded by attacking Burma Army frontline camps.
In recent weeks there have been a number of attacks – on September 24, a combined Karen fighting force of DKBA and KNLA soldiers attacked the Burma Army based at Byu Ha Kone in Wor Lay area, south of Myawaddy Town.