Deadly Fighting Breaks Out Between Burma Army and Karen Armed Groups – Border Crossing Closed

Residents of the Burma border town of Myawaddy told Karen News that fighting broke out at Aung Shwe Bo section between government soldiers and Karen armed groups.

A woman resident said, “fighting took place at Aung Shwe Bo section where both the Burma Army and BGF [Border Guard Force] are based. [Burma] army had now shut down all road access during the day time.”

Residents said that the fighting broke out after mortar shells were launched into the Aung Shwe Bo area – where the government troops and its militias, the BGF have army camps.

At the time of writing, Karen News is led to understand that it has not been confirmed which Karen armed group had fired the mortar shells.

Due to the insecurity, Myawaddy residents said they were terrified and shops in the area had closed.

A major trade crossing between Thailand and Burma – the Friendship Bridge that links Mae Sot to Myawaddy – had been closed for security reasons.

To add to the complexities of the situation sources from the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army said that yesterday, a group of their soldiers had been attacked by the Burma Army in territory under the control of the Karen National Liberation Army 6th Brigade.

The DKBA source said that fighting had also occurred between its troops led by Captain Kaw Gyi and the Burma Army in Kyaikmayaw Township in Mon state. The fighting resulted in four Burma Army soldiers killed and 13 wounded. It was confirmed that two porters under the control Burma Army were captured together with 15 weapons.

On September 18, a DKBA soldier was shot dead and another injured after the Burma Army opened fire at a truck driven by the DKBA soldiers that refused to stop for questioning.

Tension is high not only between the Burma Army and DKBA, but there are reports that an office of the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army – Peace Council (KNU/KNLA-PC) in Myawaddy, under the command of Colonel Tiger was shut down and taken over by the Burma Army.

Tensions have increased between government troops and the Karen armed groups – namely the DKBA and the KNU/KNLA-PC led by Colonel Tiger after the Burma Army issued an order banning the two Karen armed groups from wearing uniforms and carrying weapon in urban areas.

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