FBR REPORT: New Attacks by the Burma Army in Muthraw District, Northern Karen State
Muthraw District, Northern Karen State, Burma
31 May, 2006

Burma Army MOC 15 has launched an attack against Karen villagers with seven battalions comprised of over 700 men. They are attacking south from Pwa Gwa Camp from the Kyauk Kyi-Hsaw Hta Road. They are moving in two columns as they parallel the Bilin River and approach the Baw Gwa Village area, which is along the border of Nyaunglebin and Muthraw Districts.  If this force reaches the Baw Gwa area, over 3,000 people will be displaced. (Note: Burma Army battalion strength has been dropping steadily the past three years. The average battalion is now only between 120-150 men.)

Burma Army MOC 10, with three battalions, has launched an attack into the Naw Yo Hta Village and Kay Pu Village area, north of the Kyauk Kyi-Hsaw Hta Road from Ler Mu Plaw Camp. This is the second day of the attacks. There are already over 2,000 displaced people. The Burma Army troops are now in the vicinity of Ta Baw May Plaw Village. The troop strength is 345 Burma Army soldiers.

Relief teams are now in the area to assist the IDPs as well as document these attacks. We are now full into the rainy season and the villagers were attempting to plant their crops when this new attack began. Most people were not able to plant anything and are fleeing with only the food they can carry and very little shelter.

The attack in northern Muthraw District and the seven battalion attack in west central Muthraw District are the latest phase of an offensive that began in February 2006. At its height, 18,000 people were displaced and now at least 14,500 people are displaced. The KNLA (Karen resistance) is operating in small teams and attempting to slow down the attacking Burma Army and provide an early warning to villagers in its path.

Thank you and God Bless you,
Free Burma Rangers.