Gov’t troops and DKBA Clash Over New Asia Highway

Fighting between government troops and soldiers from the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army on the new Myawaddy – Kawkareik Asia Highway this Thursday morning, 2nd July. Karen News is led to understand that the fighting broke out over security for the highway over a planned official visit to the area.

The fighting between the Burma Army Infantry Battalion 231 under the Military Operation Command 12 and soldiers from the DKBA under the command of Brigadier General Saw Kyaw Thet resulted in a number of casualties.

Sources told Karen News that as a result of the fighting there was at least one dead Burma Army soldier.

Local sources said that the fighting was caused by a dispute over the security forces to be deployed by the Burma Army in the area ahead of a planned visit to the area by its Division Commander, General Tin Maung Win, of South Eastern Military Command to discuss issues around the new Asia Highway. Karen News is led to understand that these issues include official opening of the new road, security for planned infrastructure and to streamline the number of tollgates run by a various Karen armed groups. The taxes collected at the various tollgates on the highway by the armed groups have received heavy criticisms from traders and other road users.

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