FBR REPORT: 3,500 new Karen and Karenni IDPs and Burma Army Attacks
Burma Army launching new offensive in Northern Karen State
Karen State, Burma
16 January, 2004

The Burma Army are now conducting an offensive in the northern Karen State (Muthraw district) and have burned 2 villages, many rice barns and chased over 3,500 villagers into the jungle. This is in addition to the ongoing attacks against civilians in the Karenni State.

Total IDPS now number more than 3,500. More than 2,500 Karen IDPs and 1,000Karenni IDPs are now in hiding in northern Karen State.

Area affected:

Northern Karen State, Muthraw district, from LAT/LONG: N 18 30 E 097 7 north and east to N 18 41 E 097 22 in Karen State and N 18 41 E 097 00 to N 19 00 E 097 21 in Karenni State. Map used for reference in this report; JOG 1:250,000 Series 1501 Air, Sheet NE 47-5 ” Toungoo, Burma; Thailand”.

LIB 553, LIB 509, IB3, and IB18 are moving along the Karenni-Karen Stateborder and clearing villages on both sides of the border. They are nowattacking villagers 15 kilometers inside the Karen State, vicinity N 18 36 E097 10.

As a result over 2,500 Karen villagers have fled into the jungle. (Over1,000 Karenni IDPs are already in hiding in this area).

Update: A civilian farmer taking his buffaloes to market was beaten to deathby the Burma Army 15 Jan 2004. This was the young man, Klo Baw Hae..Baw Hae,age 19, mentioned in an earlier report as missing after arrest by the BurmaArmy. Villagers found his body today (Jan 16, 2004). Baw Hae was found deadand beaten all over his body. These were the same troops who attempted toshoot his friend who escaped (Saw Thaw Gwe Htoo, age 22).Update on group of 20 civilians captured on 15 Jan. According to one of thesix people who escaped, the group was comprised of many women, and as hefled he heard their cries and the sounds of people screaming.

New attacks and IDPs as of 15 Jan, 2004:

On 14 Jan at 9am, 2 villagers with 3 buffaloes, met SPDC troops at Naw Konear Thwee Der village-northern Muthraw district, Karen State, one day walksouth of Karenni border. The Burma Army troops captured one villager- KloBaw Hae, male, age 19 and the three buffaloes. Saw Kaw Gwe Htoo, age 22escaped and reported this information today (15 Jan). The Burma Army troopsopened fire at him and he ran through the bullets and managed to escape. Hewas hit in the finger and his pack was hit by bullets, causing his pack tofall to the ground losing all his money (3,ooo Baht and 50,000 Kyat) but noother bullets struck him. Saw Thaw Gwe Htoo said he did not know whathappened to his friend after he fled.One column of SPDC troops are now deepinside northern Karen State (Muthraw district- Naw Yo Hta village tract) andhave chased the following villages from their homes: Kae Ko Mu Der-71families, 440 persons, Htoo Ko Lae village-25 families, 180 persons, Bler Luvillage-17 families, 120 persons,Ka Lae Lo village-30 families,229people,Thay PaHtee/ Marmee village-35 families,230 people, Lay Wa village-21families,125 people, Thoo Kler village-33 families,237 people, Baw Keevillage-24 families,166 persons, and villagers of Saw Mee Plaw villagetract- 4 families, 23 people. Total new Karen IDPs in this area is 1750persons. All these people are hiding in the jungle with no shelter andlittle food.The temperatures in this area now range from 45 degreesFahrenheit at 2,500′ to 35 degrees Fahrenheit at 4,000′. Most of the IDPSare hiding at elevations between 3,500- 4,200′.

The Burma Army also is attacking villagers in Kaw Lu Der village tract, IDPnumbers unknown at this time. The IDPs from Nu thoo Kee and Nu thoo Htawhose villagers were burned down on 14 January are still in hiding..

15 Jan 2004:

A group 20 of civilians returning from buying goods in Tha Kaw Hta , wereattacked by troops from The Burma Army near Kya La Der, northern KarenState. Only six have escaped and we do not know the fate of the other 14civilians who are still missing,