FBR REPORT: Over 2,100 displaced as Burma Army Mortars Villages and Burns Homes in New Attacks
Northern Karen State, Burma
8 March, 2008

Family from Lay Kee village, in a hiding site after their village was burned in August ’07, now in hiding again

Over 2,100 villagers have been newly displaced and are now hiding as the Burma Army launches fresh attacks into areas of northern Karen State. Troops from MOC 16 have displaced more than 1,700 villagers, and troops from MOC 4 have displaced more than 400 villagers in the northern Papun District. These villagers, many of whom were already displaced from attacks in 2007, are now on the run again as the Burma Army is seeking out villages and pockets of IDPs and destroying homes, food, and property they come across.

On 4 March, soldiers from MOC 4 attacked into the areas of Ga Yu Der and Lay Kee villages. More than 80 people fled from Ga Yu Der village and over 400 from the Lay Kee area. The Burma Army troops entered Ga Yu Der village and proceeded to burn down nine homes and three farm houses. Villagers from Ga Yu Der had already fled into hiding when the troops entered the village. The attacking units are based at the Burma Army’s camps at Hsa Law Kyo and Mu Ra Daw.

Also on 4 March, about 20 miles to the south, troops from MOC 16 launched an attack into the area of Htee Mu Kee village. Villagers in this area began fleeing when they received news of the Burma Army’s movement, and at least seven villages, with over 1,700 people, have fled and are now hiding from this attack. The Burma Army troops fired eight mortar rounds into Tay Bo Kee village on the first day of the attack. Burma Army soldiers are still in the area searching for IDPs. The villages that have fled are: Saw Ker Der (75 families), Pla Ko Doh (10 families), Haw Lah Hta (22 families) Toe Htee Kee (31 families), Htee Baw Kee (51 families), Kyaw Gaw Lu (37 families), and Tay Nay (34 families). The approximate area of these villages is lat/long N18 27 E097 09.

This most recent attack is the largest against civilians in northern Karen State since the Burma Army completed the re-supply of its camps and construction of roads at the end of 2007. Over 30,000 people remain displaced in northern Karen State, and are constantly prepared to flee any attacks. The Burma Army has constructed over 60 new military camps in northern Karen State since the beginning of its offensive in 2006 and has completed a new road through Papun District. For many of the people now hiding, returning home is impossible because their villages and farms are now occupied by these camps.

Thank you and God bless you,

The Free Burma Rangers