Three Burma Army battalions have launched a new attack in northern Karen State, burning down four villages and killing at least one villager who could not escape in time. More than one thousand people have fled this attack and are now in hiding.
These same troops are now approaching the area of Kaypu village (Lat/Long: N 18 36 50 E 097 03 00). Over 400 villagers from Kaypu and all nearby villages have fled, and an attack on Kaypu is expected soon.
On 22 April, Burma Army LIB 505 burned down Tee Bwey Kee village (N 18 30 10 E 097 02 00). One villager, Saw Aung Tha, 61, was killed by Burma Army troops when he was unable to escape with the rest of the villagers. The entire village fled when the attacking troops entered the village, burning down all 16 homes. Troops then continued to other nearby villages, burning down Tee See Kee (N 18 31 40 E97 03 00), Taw Ku Mu Der (N 18 33 35 E97 02 45), and Boe Na Der (N 18 34 10 E97 03 00). LIB 505 is under the command of Maj. Aung Myo. The other two battalions involved in the attack are not yet known.
Also on 22 April, the Burma Army shelled Plahko village (N18 23 40 E097 08 00).
Context: In the last month, the Burma Army has launched multiple small scale attacks against villagers in northern Karen State. These attacks appear to be patrols and sweeping operations intended to locate and chase away villages and IDP populations. On 20 March 2007, three companies from Burma Army LIB 501 attacked the area of Tha Da Der and Hta Kaw To Baw villages. During the attack they killed three villagers from Hti Thu Der village. Saw Tia Rou, 40, Saw Pa Hta Lu, 32, and Saw Ta Yeh Gay, 40, who were killed while returning home from the Tha Da Der where they were purchasing rice because their own harvests had been inadequate. The Burma Army also shot and severely wounded one local nurse, Naw Xxx Xxx. She was evacuated from the area for further treatment and is now recovering
On the same day, the Burma army also burned down two farmhouses belonging to Saw Xxxxx Xxx, 50, and Naw Xxx Xxx, 54.
On 15 April the Burma Army tortured and killed 19 year-old Saw Bwe Kyaw Htoo and shot to death 24-year-old Saw Dar La Lu, in the Saw Wa Der area of Toungoo District. This attack was conducted by Burma Army Light Infantry Battalions (LIB) 371 and 372.
The Burma Army is also continuing its road construction operations in northern Papun District. A Burma Army bulldozer has now reached Tler Ker which is in the area of Ta Kwee Jo. The bulldozer is being used to clear a new road which is intended to connect the current Toungoo-Busakee Road to the Kyauk Kyi-Ler Mu Plaw road. If completed, travel for civilians in northern Karen state will become even more difficult as villagers face attack and risk stepping on landmines when crossing Burma Army controlled roads.