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 resident who asked not to be named in media reports spoke to Karen News.

“Since the attacks, there has been far more checking and more checkpoints. Burma army soldiers are on every street corner. All motorbikes and cars are checked. They have been arresting and interrogating people they suspect and some have been temporary detained.”

The residents said that the security checks are strict and are carried out morning to night.

“They check every detail. They are searching for explosives and weapons. Soldiers have checkpoints even on the small side roads. Soldiers wearing uniforms are also stopping people on street corners.”

Residents say authorities have increased security checkpoints since the attack earlier this month in the town by unknown armed groups.

A woman resident of the town said everyone is frightened.

“The whole town lives in fear and some people have already moved out. The constant searches at the checkpoints are another thing we have to worry about. We are afraid to go out now. If there’s trouble we are scared we will be caught up in it. The situation is getting worse we are frightened.”

According to a Burma army source, the increase in the security and checkpoints around town is a direct result of the recent bombing and attacks. The source said there are strong rumours that there will be more bombings and shootings in the town and the authorities will increase their security.

Currently, Burma Army Light Infantry Battalions 283, 655 and 563 are based in and around the town and are responsible for its security – the army has ordered residents living outside or far from the center of the town to move into the town.

Previous attacks in Three Pagoda Pass town during last months destroyed a house owned by a business with links to the Burma army, unknown gunmen shot up the Sa Ya Pa [Military Affair Security Unit] office and motorbike gunmen wounded soldiers in a drive-bye shooting.

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