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Deadly ambush kills Burma army officers

Karen National Liberation Army sources confirmed their fighters killed two Burma army soldiers and wounded four others in an ambush on the Kler Day road, Karen State on 2 July. The sources said the dead included a Burma army battalion commander Major Eh Hser Hser, office manager of KNLA Brigade 7 told Karen News that their soldiers ambushed Burma army…

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Hlaingbwe devastated by floods – getting aid is a lottery

Residents of Hlaingbwe Town are still fighting floodwaters that swamped central Karen State last month. Town people say flooding caused by heavy rains broke the banks of the Hlaingbwe River in late June, putting many residential areas under water. Government officials say the amount of aid allocated for victims is not enough. A civil servant working in Hlaingbwe town told…

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Burma army threats force villagers to abandon farms

Threats from Burma army have forced more than 30 farmers in the Papun district of Karen state to abandon their farms and plantations. The villagers from Bu Tho Township sought help from the Karen National Union after the Burma army forced villagers to carry army supplies. A statement released by the KNU alleges the Burma army Light Infantry Brigade 214…

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Army increase security around Three Pagoda Pass

Following a spate of attacks by unknown gunmen and bombers against a businessman with links to the Burma army and other military target in and around Three Pagoda Pass Town, authorities have increased security and the number of checkpoints in the area. Residents say checkpoints are manned 24 hours and army presence in the town is now highly visible. A…

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A Hard Rain Falls

Heavy rains battering eastern Burma have destroyed many rice farms cultivated by displaced Karen people. Humanitarian groups on the Thai Burma border say these people will face a food crisis at the next harvest. Naw Iris, a coordinator with the Committee of Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) overseeing the Pa-an and Doo Pla Ya Districts spoke to Karen News about…

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Children forced to carry frontline supplies

The Burma government has repeatedly denied the use of forced labor to international organisations, but villagers from Dweh Loe township in Papun district say the Burma army has forced men, women and including children, some as young as 11 to porter rations for their troops. In March 2010, in his report to the UN Human Rights Council, Tomas Ojea Quintana,…

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Border closure hurts traders

Since July 2010, Burma’s military regime has insisted on keeping the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border checkpoint closed in retaliation for what it claims was the unofficial construction of a concrete embankment on the Thai side. A year has almost passed and the border crossing between Mae Sot and Myawaddy is still closed. In spite of rumours that it would open after…

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ENC plea ignored

The Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) issued a statement at the 6th congress in June, urging the newly elected Burmese president, U Thein Sein, to stop military attacks in ethnic areas, to hold a nationwide ceasefire and to start peace talk. So far the ENC request has made no impact on the Burma government. Fighting in Kachin, Shan and Karen State…

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Kawkeriek civilian shot dead by Burma army

Myawaddy residents are running on scared after recent fighting in the area. Eyewitnesses said a civilian who ignored a Burma army warning not to drive on the Myawaddy-Kawkeriek road was shot dead by a soldier. A resident who witnessed the conflict told Karen News that fighting between Karen fighters and Burma army soldiers lasted about an hour. “The fighting was…

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World refugee day not a cause for celebration

Saw The Blay, has spent 27 of his 34 years as a Karen refugee in Mae La refugee camp in Tak, Thailand and says he regrets not being able to live in his homeland. “I want to go back, but I dare not to go back. We cannot go home because there is no security – nothing but fighting and…

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