by Daniel Pedersen
Tuesday, 21 April 2009 17:32
Mae Sot (Mizzima) – Casualties mounted on both sides this afternoon as an onslaught was launched to capture a Karen National Liberation Army encampment close to the Thai border by the Burmese Army and an allied militia which stretched into the ninth day.
A KNLA commander, speaking from the besieged Wah Lay Kee camp, said a KNLA soldier had been killed and three injured.
But casualties have been greater for the Burmese Army and its ally, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.
The commander said his soldiers had counted seven dead and 33 wounded since the latest hostilities began on April 12, a Sunday afternoon.
Land mines have caused the greatest casualties along with booby traps laid around the camp.
The combined Burma Army and DKBA force of about 250 soldiers used scores of mortars, both 69mm and 81mm.
On Tuesday afternoon at about 3 pm a commander at the camp said the latest bombardment had occurred about 25 minutes earlier and the situation “is not good. They are attacking us every day”.
The KNLA soldiers have long been expecting this onslaught and have made preparations.
The whole area is teeming with booby traps and land mines and Karen National Union vice president David Thackrabaw said the KNLA had been making its own Claymore directional mines, primarily a defensive weapon but deadly up to a range of 250 metres.
Wah Lay Kee, home to the KNLA’s Sixth Brigade 201st division, although a literal stone’s throw from the Thai border is pretty much isolated, with Thai soldiers maintaining a heavy presence along potential access routes.
Good bless you all