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7 dead after BGF camp on Kamamaung-Warbotaw Road attacked

7 Border Guard Forces (BGF) members were reportedly killed after Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) attacked one of their camps on the Kamamaung-Warbotaw Road, connecting Karen National Union (KNU)’s 1st Brigade’s territory Thaton District and KNU’s 5th Brigade’s territory Mutraw District.

The KNLA 1st Brigade and 5th Brigade jointly attacked a camp near Meiktila Village in Hpa-An Township on October 30, where commander Tin Win and his subordinates from the BGF1014 Battalion were stationed.

Families of BGF members were also present at the camp and when KNLA attacked the camp.

A commander of KNLA 1st Brigade told KIC” some BGF family members
were injured by the Military Council’s shelling in their effort to assist BGF troops.”

“We, the 1st Brigade have issued a warning to BGF family members, to not stay in the camp compound. We also warned all government employees and Military Council-appointed administrators to leave since 2021.”

The 1 st Brigade commander continued “some teachers went back. Our statement is still valid today. But the BGF ignored it and kept their family members in the camp.When we attacked the camp, their family members were injured by their own artillery fire”, the KNLA officer said.

Shortly after the battle began, artillery shelling became intense as reinforcements from the Military Council in Kamamaung and more BGFs arrived and the KNLA forces retreated.

KNLA commander explained their reason for attacking the camp was based on the extortionate fees imposed by BGF troops on pedestrians, and unfair fines imposed on locals, who did not want to be used as porters to support their military operations.

“They don’t do so much extortion in the surrounding villages. But they demand a lot of money near the villages of Laykay and Yokala (Kyathaungsate). Last summer, a shooting occurred at a camp in Laykay, and they arrested and extorted civilians, demanding about 10 to 20 lakhs each”, he told KIC.

BGF commander Tin Win and his subordinates also set fire to the house of a KNLA member’s father-in-law in Nyaung Kone Village. In addition, the BGF camp based in Peinnetaw Village launched an artillery attack and a house was damaged, according to KNLA 1st Brigade.

On September 24, three civilians, including a child, were injured when a BGF checkpoint stationed near Nyaung Kone Village fired artillery into the village in Thaton District, the KNU stated.

The KIC tried to reach the relevant BGF officials regarding the incident, but was unable to contact them.

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