Peace talks fuel fighting

Ethnic political and armed groups claim the Burma governments recent talks about wanting peace is nothing more than a ploy to fool the international community into supporting its attempt to get the ASEAN chair.

The ethnic groups say the insincerity of the government’s peace talks have escalated armed clashes between the Burma Army and ethnic armed groups in Karen State.

On October 9, fighting broke out three times in one day between the Burma Army and fighters from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army in Wor Lay area, south of Myawaddy Town in Karen State.

The DKBA’s Klo Htoo Baw Tactical Command, Commander Major General Saw Lah Pwe ordered his fighters to counter attack Burma Army troops from Infantry Battalion #203 and #204 operating around Tar Eu Hta village in Wor Lay area.

Major San Aung, a senior DKBA officer said.

“First we clashed mid-morning as we were out patrolling the area. Then, there was another confrontation when we ran into another enemy column we left the area. After the fighting stopped, we began to move forward to clear the area and another firefight occurred. We fought, stopped, move and fought again.”

Major San Aung said it is unknown how many casualties there were as the fighting took place in mountainous terrain.

“The fighting was all between the mountains and valley, so we don’t know how many we killed or wounded.”

Major San Aung said soldiers from Battalion #103 of the Karen National Liberation Army and fighters from the Arakanese Liberation Army and the All Burma Student Democratic Front joined his fighters. He said none of his fighters had been wounded or killed.

A villager from Tar Eu Hta said the sound of fighting could be heard in the village all day – big and small guns.

“I heard the sound of mortars and machine gun two or three rounds at a time. It was quite far outside the village. We were told that the fighting was between Burma Army and DKBA troops.”

The Burma Army is sending IB 230, IB 231 and LIB 546 under Military Operation Command #12 based in Kler Day area in Hlaingbwe Township of Pa-an district to support its soldiers fighting in the area that is currently under the control of the KNLA informed sources in the area say this will lead to more fighting.

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