Fighting broke out in Papun Township between the Karen National Liberation Army government troops on February 27 that resulted in one Karen soldier killed and one wounded. The fighting happened in territory under the control of the KNLA’s 5th Brigade.
An official from Karen National Union, Padoh Saw Pha Gaw, confirmed to Karen News from Papun District that the fighting was between government troops Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 543 under Military Operation Command (MOC) #5 that is based at Kho Thaw Kho camp and local KNLA soldiers. Padoh Saw Pha Gaw said that the fighting occurred as Burma army coming into restricted area of KNLA controlled territory.
Speaking to Karen News, Padoh Saw Pha Gaw said.
“We asked them not to go beyond 100 yards from the car road. The fighting took place 300 yards from the car road. The fighting lasted only a few minutes. There were only a few of our soldiers. One of them was killed and one wounded. We don’t know about casualties on the enemy side. I want to emphasize that during a time when we are trying to reach a concrete ceasefire agreement, this incident should not happen.”
Sources from the KNLA 5th Brigade said that they had reported the incident to their headquarters.
Karen News spoke to Colonel Aung Lwin, the Minister of Border Security Affairs who said.
“I can only say at this point that there was an incident. I haven’t got detail information about it yet. We have less communication with Southern [Burma army] Command. Officers from the Southern Command have been in contact with U Roger Khin [Padoh Roger Khin, Defense Department head of the Karen National Union]. They have had phone conversation, and I think they can resolve the issue.”
According to the Karen Human Right Group’s report, on February 17 and 22government troops, Light Infantry Brigade 410 under MOC 8 launched artillery shells into Kho Mu Plaw village tract, Papun Township, where villagers were cultivating their crops
This latest incident is the third conflict in the last week. Recent fighting in Karen State also occurred on 28 February, between soldiers from the KNLA’s 6th Brigade Headquarters, Special Column and government militia, Border Guard Force soldiers from its Battalion 1022 that took place on the way from Maw Hto Talay and Tha Blu Koh Khi village, six miles south of Myawaddy Town. T
here was also fighting between troops led by the former Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, Colonel Saw San Aung and Burma Army soldiers under its Military Operation Command (MOC) #13 based in Kyaikdon Town on February 27.