Fighting Between Karen and Govt’s Militias Force Village School To Close

Fighting between soldiers from the government’s militia, the Border Guard Force and a splinter group of the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army occurred yesterday at around 10am and continue into today on the old Kawkareik-Myawaddy Road.

A BGF officer confirmed the firefight between soldiers from the BGF’s Battalion 1017 and the DKBA’s splinter group led by Bo Nar Ma Kyar [Lieutenant Deaf] started in the morning yesterday and continued into this morning.

Lieutenant Cha Wah, a BGF duty officer at Pyar Pin Kwin spoke to Karen News yesterday and said.

“The fighting took place in the Taung Mae area west of Kaung Mu village on the old road. The fighting was ongoing until 3pm. They [DKBA] have at most 10 soldiers and we are blocking them from coming down to the Pyar Pin area.”

According to a teacher from Kaung Mu village, the conflict force the school to close as it did during the previous fighting on the new Kawkareik-Myawaddy Asia Highway.

“We had to close the school because of the fighting. We hear every other day the sound of gunfire.”

The teacher from Kaung Mu said the school wants permission from the Kawkareik Township education office to move to Mi Chaung Inn Monastery where they had previously took temporary refuge from the fighting and tried to teach their students.

“It is not possible to continue teaching at the village school as the constant fighting disrupts the children’s study. I will submit a letter asking for permission to move our school to the monastery.”

The area where the latest fighting has taken place has recently been the center of many shootings. On October 6, an incident between the DKBA and BGF on the Kawkareik-Myawaddy old road between Kaung Mu and Tuang Thone Lone resulted in the fatal shooting of three men.

The shootings happened at a BGF checkpoint when its soldiers attempted to stop a pickup. The pickup refused to stop and the BGF troops opened fire killing three men believed to be DKBA soldiers. DKBA officials later denied that the three men belong to their organization.

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