On October 1, 2020, the Burma Army’s Tatmadaw Information Team reported they had arrested two people involved in the killing of its two soldiers and accused them of also planting booby traps under the corpses that killed another three soldiers and wounded five more.
The Tatmadaw Information Team said initial interrogation had uncovered the two killers are soldiers from the KNU.
Speaking to Karen News, Padoh Saw Ta Doh Moo, general secretary of the KNU said the Burma Army’s accusation its soldiers were involved in the killing is groundless.
“First of all, I want to make it clear that it’s nothing to do with us. Their [Burma Army] accusation is baseless. If they were our soldiers, they would have had their Personal Numbers (ID). If there is no evidence, they should not make such baseless accusations against us.”
A media statement put out by the Tatmadaw Information Team, on October 1, said two people were arrested over their involvement in the killing of its soldiers on September 28. The Tatmadaw Information Team identified one of the two accused as Saw Kyaw Wah Paw and claimed he attended military training at the KNLA at Htee Wah Blaw camp. The Tatmadaw Information Team statement said Saw Kyaw Wah Paw claimed he was ordered to ambush Burma Army soldiers by a local KNLA officer.
The KNU said that Tatmadaw accusation, without any concrete proof, could hurt the trust building during the peace process and the KNU will strongly make its objections clear in an official letter.
Padoh Ta Doh Moo said despite the NCA Joint Monitoring Committee not working the KNU will lodge its complaint.
“We will submit our protest. It’s unfortunate we had to learned about this case from media reports. We will make more inquiries into the case and make an official appropriate response after we have completed our investigation.
The suspects were first arrested by Border Guard Force militia and according to an earlier statement made by Colonel Saw Chit Thu, the general secretary of the BGF in Karen State, the suspects had said they didn’t belong to any armed group.
On August 30, two Burma army soldiers staffing a OTA post on the Kawkareik-Myawaddy old road were shot and killed and a grenade planted under one of the corpses resulting in three more soldiers killed and five more injured by an explosion when the body was lifted.
The incident area is mixed control areas accessible by armed groups including the KNLA, KNU/KNLA- Peace Council, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, DKBA breakaway group and BGF.