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DKBA and junta troops engage in two-day fight

January 11, 2011

New Delhi (Mizzima)––Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) troops and junta troops have fought in the Phalu area in  Myawaddy Township in Karen State for two straight days starting from Monday morning, according to a DKBA officer.

refugee-run-thai-sRefugees rest near temporary shelters in Mae Sot, Thailand, after fleeing clashes between junta troops and a breakaway faction of the junta-aligned Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) in Myawaddy, on the Burmese side of the Moei River, on Monday, November 8, 2010. More than 10,000 Burmese from Karen State have fled to Mae Sot, social organisations including the UN refugee body, the UNHCR, said. Photo: Mizzima

About 200 troops from the junta’s infantry battalions Nos. 231, 355, 359, 548 and 549 assaulted the DKBA Kacha Wawlay outpost at about 6 a.m. on Monday, defended by about 300 DKBA troops from battalions Nos. 904 and 905 under the command of the 5thBrigade.

‘The fighting stopped at about 6 in the evening. But they could not overrun our outpost’, Bo Saw Kyaw Thet, the DKBA Phalu Wawlay area strategic commander toldMizzima.

He said that during the two-days of fighting, 30 junta soldiers were killed and more than 50 were wounded. Two of the wounded died, he said.

Regarding the fighting, KNU joint secretary (1) Pado Saw Hla Ngwe said the junta suffered heavy casualties because of the minefields planted by DKBA.

‘They underestimated the DKBA and entered the area, but our troops fought back and got the upper hand and they fled from the war zone to avoid more casualties’, he said.

‘I saw today they stopped advancing and pounded us with heavy weapons. They fired on our heavy weapon positions and camp sites. They seem to be firing on DKBA high-ground positions and the surrounding area’, said Pado Saw Hla.

Some artillery shells fell on Thai territory on Tuesday, but there were no casualties. The Thai army has tightened its security on the border, sources said.

Because of the intensified fighting between the two armies, more war refugees fled from their villages, and about 300 refugees arrived in the  Phutpra area in Thailand.

There are many more war refugees inside Burma, a volunteer refugee worker, told Mizzima.

‘The refugees are moving into nearby farmlands and plantations for their security.’ he said.

He said that the Maetao Clinic and other social organisations in Mae Sot are trying to provide basic assistance to the war refugees.

SPDC troops and DKBA troops have been fighting each other off and on in Myawaddy, Three Pagoda Pass and Kyar Inn Seik Gyi areas since Nov. 7, the polling day of recent general election.


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