Two women were killed and a man wounded in a firefight between Democratic Karen Buddhist Army fighters and the Burma’s government’s Border Guard Force soldiers on 19th February in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area. A uncle of one of the dead women toldKaren News that his 20-year-old niece was married with young children and she was unlucky to be out shopping at the time. Sources told Karen News that the other woman killed in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area shooting was 18.
The uncle of the 20-year-old victim told Karen News.
“The shooting happened while my niece was buying things at a shop. She died on the spot. Her husband is working in Thailand and her children are now being cared for by relatives.”
On 19th February, the government’s BGF Battalion 1011 attacked the DKBA in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area and disarmed them taking 23 guns off them. Later in the day the DKBA launched a counter-attack against the BGF battalion killing five BGF soldiers and destroying one of their trucks.
In the following days tensions between soldiers from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army and Border Guard Force troops forced at least 50 villagers from Mae Tha Waw village, Hlaingbwe Township and for them to seek temporary refuge across the border in Thailand.
According to a DKBA soldier from Maw Tha Waw village, on February 20, a BGF sniper shot and wounded a DKBA major at his camp compound in the Myaing Gyi Ngu. A DKBA soldier told to Karen News that recent clashes have created added more tension to an already tense situation.
A Democratic Karen Buddhist Army commander told Karen News that the DKBA factions that refused to give up their Karen identity and come under the direct control of the Burma Army by becoming members of the Border Guard Force do not trust their former allies now that they have enlisted as the government’s BGF.
In 2010, as outlined in the 2008 constitution, the Burma Army attempted to disarm and dismantle the ethnic ceasefire groups and bring them under its control. The former military regime’s intention was to reduce the size of the various ethnic armed ceasefire groups and reform them as a Border Guard Force to bring them under the strict command of the Burma Army.
DKBA sources say hostilities between the two groups has eased in the last week after the BGF returned the 23 weapons taken from the DKBA on 19th February.
Meanwhile, the families of the dead woman say they have received no contact from government officials or the DKBA over the killing of the two young women.