28 December 2021
Thank you for your prayers and support as our teams respond to these new attacks by the Burma Army. The attacks began on 14 December and are continuing as of this report, with airstrikes and bombing, helicopter gunships making strafing runs, and infantry supported by heavy mortars attacking on the ground. The attacks are ongoing in the Lay Kay Kaw area south of Mywaddy, Burma, which is west across the Moei River from Mae Sot, Thailand. Over 5,000 people have fled to Thailand and over 5,000 are in hiding on the Karen State, Burma, side. Fighting is ongoing as of this report.
Background: Fighting started on 15 December, 2021, in Lay Kay Kaw IDP resettlement village south of Mywaddy. The Burma Army entered the area to search for people in the pro-democracy resistance movement and Peoples Defense Forces (PDF). On 14th December the Burma Army started arresting villagers and torturing them by tying them up and beating them and pushing their faces into water. On 15 December, Burma Army soldiers came and arrested and tortured more people. At this point the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), which is the armed wing of the Karen National Union, a pro-democracy ethnic armed organization, intervened. Fighting began at 7 a.m. on 15 December.
The Burma Army reinforced its troops and began to shell the village of Lay Kay Kaw and then also attacked the villages of Myitar Lin Myaing and May Taw Tha Lay. On 19 December, the Burma Army attacked Palu Gyi Village and on 22 December they attacked Thay Baw Boe Village. On 24 December, two Burma Army BDRMs armored cars arrived in Lay Kay Kaw and joined the attack, destroying many homes.
Air strikes on 25 December consisted of one jet fighter and two Mi 35 attack helicopters which made bombing and strafing runs, destroying homes and displacing thousands of people. From the 25th until present, 28 December, attacks continue.
The over 10,000 people who have fled need the Burma Army to stop and leave the area and they need food, shelter, and medical assistance. Three of our FBR teams are with IDPs helping them as best they can. Please pray for all the people in hiding, for the families of those who have been killed and for the Burma Army to stop and go back.
God bless you,
Dave, family and FBR
Photos 1, 2 and 3- Families flee Burma Army attacks
The Free Burma Rangers