The attack involved the use of a landmine and occurred on March 9th near Kaso and Yathaytkone in Paingkyon Township, which is located in the Hapa-An District of Karen State.
Members of the BGF arrested an ex-military man who resided in a rubber plantation near the mine attack site, a local woman and a man who were passing by.
Bo Kyaw Ye Htut, an officer from the 16th KNLA Battalion who happened to be visiting his sick father-in-law, was also rounded up ad taken into custody by the BGF troops.
His colleague, another KNLA officer told KIC, “The KNLA man arrested had absolutely noinvolvement in the attack. His father-in-law was unwell, and he had obtained permission from his superiors to return to him for three or four days, and was subsequently apprehended. He is a selfless individual who is dedicated to serving the public good, and would never engage in such acts of aggression. I can state with complete confidence that he played no role whatsoever in the mine attack”, he said.
Locals have expressed concern over the recent arrests of individuals in the vicinity of the attack, as they were detained on mere suspicion without any concrete evidence. The area where the incident took place is primarily under the control of the BGF, raising the possibility of retaliatory attacks against each other.
“Those who were arrested have not committed any wrongdoing; and the man at the rubber plantation was simply doing his job. It’s unfortunate that the incident occurred in a residential area. If a mine attack occurs, and individuals in the vicinity are detained, then we must question where justice lies”, a local criticized.
Reports have surfaced indicating that the four suspects, including the KNLA officer, were transported to Me Thein (Me Thein Kone) village, where the BGF camp is situated, and are currently being held in custody. However, the Karen Information Center (KIC) has not independently confirmed this information.
Since the military coup, this is the first instance of a BGF vehicle being targeted by a landmine within the territory of the 7th Brigade of the Karen National Union (KNU). According to sources close to the BGF, their leaders are growing increasingly concerned about the security situation within their controlled areas due to this recent attack.