July 8th, 2011
Min Thuta – Members of army families of Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 62 based in Thanphyuzayart, Mon State, have recently moved out of the battalion to the town after the news came out that the local security situation is worsening.
“The battalion has over 20 families, and they have moved to sleep at their friends’ homes at night. Some go back to the battalion during the day. They say it is not good a situation inside the battalion,” explained a Thanphyuzayart resident who is close with an army family.
IB No. 62 has been fighting with ethnic armed groups because it is located at the edge of Thanphyuzayart town, and the rubber plantations and Taung Nyo range are located just behind the battalion, the resident said.
On 29 June, a bomb exploded in a house near the office of the Township General Administration Department of Thanphyuzayart.
“The news spread that Karen armed groups have arrived near the town. It is very tense about the security in the town due to the case of the bomb blasting and the burning of two highway buses recently,” said an anonymous businessman in the area.
Travelers who go about late at night are being stopped and questioned by local authorities.
“Football audiences who watch outside, and strangers with motorbikes have been investigated. Some have had to sleep in prison cells,” said a youth from the town.
However the authorities have not been able to arrest anyone who has actually interfered with the security of the town.
The authorities also announced an order to all in the township in June to give up any arms being held illegally.
Thanphyuzayart used to have two battalions, IB No. 31 and IB No. 62, but IB No. 31 was relocated to Khaw-zar Sub-Township in southern Mon State ten years ago.
Currently, IB No. 62 has about 110 soldiers and remains in the town as a garrison.
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