Wah Lay Kee is a significant camp that has been maintained for more than a decade.
Asked why he thought the DKBA and SPDC put such importance on Wah Lay Kee, he said mainly because Wah Lay Kee was the headquarters of Sixth Brigade’s 201st battalion.
“It is really a symbol, it’s not a big area, but it is very important to the KNLA. Wah Lay Kee has never fallen to the Burmese and has been a secure base camp for many years now.”
“It has stood since 1988 until now, there has been a lot of fighting, but it has never been taken over by the Burmese. And we have a military cemetery there, so we must hold it.
TODAY Burmese Army overruns Karen rebel camp
by Daniel Pedersen
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 17:39
Mae Sot (Mizzima) – The Burmese Army has overrun the Karen National Liberation Army’s base camp of Wah Lay Kee.
The KNLA base camp, home to its Sixth Brigade battalion 201 and besieged since April 12, has been abandoned.
At about 5 pm, troops of State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and its ally, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army DKBA), were picking through the significant encampment, trying to secure it. It was deserted, rigged to the hilt with explosive booby traps.
The combined SPDC/DKBA force suffered heavy casualties today. The KNLA had littered the camp’s perimeter with landmines and tripwires.
“There were many casualties on the other side,” said KNLA Colonel Nerdah Mya.
“We have abandoned the camp and everybody is safe. We will fight another day,” he said at 5.15pm.
He said between 400 and 500 SPDC/DKBA soldiers took part in a final assault on the base camp. The KNLA was heavily outnumbered, with a skeleton force of 50 to 60 men. They finally abandoned the camp.
“We will set up more camps, we will fight another 20 years if we have to,” said Colonel Nerdah.
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