Summary: From 1 December through the present time (26 Dec,’03), there have been numerous clashes between the Burma Army and KNU as well as KNPP forces. The Burma Army has increased its road building activities, has burned down two villages and has forced villagers to flee their homes in the northern Karen State and southern Karenni State.
However, there are no major offensives by the Burma Army in these areas.
Analysis: According to KNU (KNLA), and KNPP forces, the Burma Army is using the unofficial ceasefire to move their troops and supporting elements such as DKBA, KNPLF and KNSO into KNU and KNPP territory. There has also been an increase in road building activity and the Burma Army is attempting to infiltrate the Karenni- KNPP territory by moving through the KNU 2nd Brigade area (Toungoo district), counting on the unofficial ceasefire to protect them from KNU attack.
On 17 December LIB 92 burned down Klee Soe Kee village and forced the villagers of Klee Soe Kee and nearby Kaw They Der to relocate to Kler Lah village on the road to Mawchi. On 19 December LIB 264 burned down Maw Thoo Der village north of the Kler Lah-Mawchi road.
The Burma Army (BA), has increased its troop strength along the two major road projects in this district- The Toungoo-Kler Lah- Mawchi (Karenni State) road and the Toungoo-Kler Lah-Busaki (southern Toungoo district) road.
LIBs 511, 512, 509, 9 of Tactical Command 511, 55th Division as well as LIBs
587, 264, 92, 124, 911, 912 are supporting these road projects. They are conducting clearing operations along these roads and several clashes between these Burma Army forces and the KNU (KNLA), have occurred between 1 and 26 December.
The most recent actions in Toungoo District are:
10 Dec- at Koo Day village, BA LIB 39 clashed with 2nd brigade KN:LA forces such as LIB 39 were patrolling the area.
17 Dec- LIB 92 clashed with KNLA 2nd Brigade soldiers on the Toungoo-Kler Lah-Busakee road as LIB 92 supported by 4 D4 bulldozers was doing road construction. 4 BA soldiers were wounded, 1 bulldozer was destroyed. In response to this, LIB 92 burned down Klee Soe Kee village and forced the villagers of this village and nearby Kaw They Der village to relocate to Kler Lah.
17 Dec- In Shoko area north of the Toungoo-Kler Lah-Mawchi road, LIBs
511,512,509 and 9 conducted clearing operations and clashed with 2nd Brigade KNLA. 1 BA killed, 1 wounded. On the same day the Burma Army clashed with
2nd Bde KNLA troops at Wah Baw Day on the Kler Lah- Mawchi road 1 BA soldier killed, 1 wounded. .
18 Dec- Burma Army LIB 511,512,509,9 supported by the break away Karenni factions-KNPLF and KNSO attacked and robed the villagers of Maw Thu Der village north of the Kler Lah- Mawchi road. On this day the Burma Army also clashed with KNLA forces at Pwe Ke village-2 BA wounded.
19 Dec- LIB 264 clashed with 2nd Brigade KNLA troops at Kaw La Kla and Klay Hta and then entered and burned down Maw Thoo Der village at 4pm.
21 Dec- One column of LIB 264 commanded by Maj. Than Zein forced the villagers of Koo They Der And ler Kee Ko Der Ka and Ler Gwi Ko Der Ko to provide 26 porters.
22 Dec- This same column captured a pastor’s son-in-law- Saw Ah Thoo and took him with the unit. His status is now unknown.
Nyaunglebin (3rd Brigade KNU) District:
No (3) Brigade area
7 Dec- At 1a.m, after DKBA advanced on KNLA positions, the KNLA attacked the DKBA troops in Htee Lwe Baw Hta.
Battalion No(9) of KNLA, Le Do District area:
After BA troops advanced on KNLA positions, a joint force of KNLA and KNDO No. (3) attacked the BA LIB No. 420 at 10 a.m between Yan Gyi Aung and Yan Myo Aung. The fight lasted 30 minutes. One the same day at 1505 hrs, KNLA engaged the same troops of the Burma Army between Sale and Yan Myo Aung. The fight lasted ten minutes. One BA soldier was killed. The KNLA captured one MA3 along with one magazine and 17 rounds of ammunition.
No (4) Brigade area:
13 Dec- At 0850 hrs, the KNLA engaged the Burma army at Ke Wah Kee. Two BA soldiers were killed and two others were wounded.
No ( 6) Brigade area:
10 Dec- Battalion No (17) of the KNLA engaged a patrolling force of LIB No(62) led by Major Khin Mg Than at Ka Kya village.
12 Dec- The KNLA again engaged Column No (2) (unit number was not available) of the Burma Army, led by vice commander Nay Myo Aung at near Tha Kha Kloe village. One BA troop was killed and one was wounded.
No (7) Brigade area:
1 Dec- The KNLA engaged DKBA troops near Wah Kyu Bue village. Four DKBA troops were killed.
13 Dec- At 1930 hrs, seven soldiers of battalion No (999) of DKBA surrendered to the KNLA. They brought along with them the following weapons:
1. One 79, 13 shells of it
2. Two AK-47, 200 rounds of it
3. Three magazines of AK-47
4. Four M-16, 400 rounds of it
5. Five magazines of M-16
6. Two 2G radios
7. Six sets of equipments.
10 Dec- Two members from DKBA’s headquarters rejoined with KNU.
17 Dec- One soldier of battalion No (2) of DKBA rejoined with the KNLA. He brought along with him the following weapons:
1. One RPG-7, 2 shells of it
2. One M-16, 97 rounds of it
3. Five magazines of M-16.
The Burma Army is reinforcing its troops on the Mawchi road and has forced the villagers of Kaw Ko Daw Ko village (south of the road), to flee.
The Karenni (KNPP), report that the Burma Army is attempting to use the ceasefire talks between the SPDC and KNU as an opportunity to attack the Karenni though the KNU Toungoo district and has increased their level of road construction on the Mawchi – Toungoo road.
On Dec 11, 03, fighting broke out between the Burma Army LIB 248 and the Karenni Army (KA). The fight lasted until 1350 hrs. Two SPDC soldiers were killed and three others were wounded. The commander was among the wounded.
On Dec 9, 03, at 1600 hrs, there was an engaagement between the Burma army of LIB No. (249) in Tha Law Lo village. The fight went on until 6 p.m. Twelve Burma Army troops including the second in command of the battalion, who was also in charge of the column at that time, were killed and over (20) others were wounded. One company officer and one platoon officer were among the death.
The KA captured the following weapons:
1. Four (MA1)s
2. One (MA2)
3. One (MA3)
4. One (MA4)
5. Two 9mm pistols
6. Two Icom radios, lots of ammunition and other important military documents.
On Dec 12, 03, the KA ambushed the Burma Army (until number was not available) on the Mawchi-Taungoo motor road. Ten Burma Army troops were killed in the fight.
ON Nov 13, 03, at 1103 hrs, the KA engaged an attacking Burma Army unit near Pa Mi village. After the fight the Burmese troops burnt down four houses of the village and a pastor’s house. The Burma Army troops retreated from the area after burning the houses.
On Dec 9, 03, a porter from Shan State, named Li Shin Ta, was shot dead in Be Kho Kee village, No. (1) township, No(2) District of Karenni State, by Tun Myint, who was in charge of No(2) Column. The porter was shot dead after being sick and too weak to walk.
On Oct 15, 03, a group of unknown unit Burmese troops shot wounded a villager from Lo Law Tee village. The name of the villager is Shwe Mo. The troops took all of the man’s money and left him behind.
It was reported that the Burma army of LIB No. (568) uses 800 porters in a year. The troops usually force all the villagers living around the base of the troops. The villagers are forcibly ordered to act as porters and guides.
On Nov 11, 03, a porter, named Win Soe, who was forcibly taken as porter by the Burmese troops of LIB No. (568), escaped to the KA with the following weapons:
1. One MA1
2. One MA2
3. Five magazines
4. 500 rounds of the two guns, and
5. One grenade.
The porter told the KA that he decided to escape after ill treatment by the Burma Army.
The porter is from the Kachin State.