One Week of Attacks: Burma Army Pushes More Than 4,800 People Into Hiding

29 June 2022

Kyauk Kyi Township, Nyaunglebin District, Western Karen State

The escalation of Burma Army attacks in Kyauk Kyi area of Nyaunglebin District in the last week has sent more than 4,800 villagers from 16 villages fleeing into the jungle east of their homes. Burma Army troops have conducted regular shelling of villages with 60mm and 81mm mortars and at least seven villagers have been wounded; the shelling continues into the night, with nearly every night seeing four to five more mortar attacks. Over the last month, the Burma Army has been building up their troop presence here, combining forces from Light Infantry Battalions (LIBs) 20 and 349 and Infantry Battalions (IBs) 57, 60, 264, 349, 351, and 439. In the last week, the Burma Army, using more than 20 trucks, has brought both reinforcements and more heavy weapons into the area. The number of Burma Army troops there is now over 500 and they are attacking with mortars and small arms. They are led by Lt. Col. Zin Ya Lin.

On 25 June 2022, the villagers of In-net, Ta Ray Se Law, Nyaung Goe, Kyu Goe, Thae Goe, and Nge Bye Inn all had to flee suddenly, bringing nothing with them, when the Burma Army launched an intense attack that included more than 104 mortar strikes. Many of the villagers have fled to Law Mu Thaw and Law Mu Thaw villages; many have also kept moving past those villages, deeper into the jungle.

Below are pictures of fleeing villagers, and the Nyaunglebin Free Burma Ranger team’s response, as well as details of the Burma Army activities in Kyauk Kyi Township, Nyaunglebin District, in June. At the bottom of this report is a link to a second report that details Burma Army human rights violations and activities from all over Karen State for the months of March and April. Both this report and the other detail only activities reported on by FBR teams and are not comprehensive accounts of all Burma Army activity in Karen State.

Injured 27-yr-old villager from In-Net Village.
Woman injured by shrapnel to her lower leg. 
Carrying an elderly villager by hammock.
Villagers resting as they flee.
Fleeing villagers crossing the Bawgata River. 
Kitchen in hiding place.
A school damaged by Burma Army mortars.
Remains of mortars from Burma Army attacks.
FBR medics treat patients who have fled their homes.
FBR team distributes tarps to IDPs. 

Event Log for Report

28 June: Fighting happened between the Burma Army and Karen National Liberation Army in the Baw De Goe area. The Burma Army then shelled the surrounding area, dropping mortars in Kyauk Kyi, Blut Doh Lu area. One woman was injured. In Baw De Gone Village, Burma Army troops burned down the farm huts of all the villagers. There are over 200 Burma Army soldiers occupying In-Net Village and these have looted the villagers’ belongings as well as killing and eating their livestock, including chickens, pigs, and goats.

27 June, afternoon: 10 Burma Army trucks full of soldiers came down to Ler Doh to reinforce. Later, over 10 more trucks full of soldiers followed to further reinforce. On this day, the Burma Army used a drone and dropped four bombs at In-Net village. Fighting happened between Burma Army and KNLA three times and over 20 Burma Army soldiers were killed and many wounded too. 

Due to the fighting and attacks, villagers from the plains area fled, stopping in Law Mu Per and Law Mu Thaw villages. On 28 June, they continued moving deeper into the jungle and villagers from those two villages also went with them.

26 June: the Burma Army continued to order the people in the villages to expel the Karen or, if not, all villagers had better get out. Most of the people east of the Sittaung River have fled.

On the morning of 26 June, from 0615 to 0920, the Burma Army shelled Nge Byae Inn and In-Net villages three times, dropping over 40 rounds of 60mm mortars on them. Two In-Net villagers were wounded in the attack. About 1000 people fled this area and finally the Burma Army entered In-Net Village and occupied it. The IDPs fleeing this attack arrived at Law Mu Thaw and Law Mu Per villages.

The FBR Nyaunglebin team, along with community groups and Karen National Union (KNU) local leaders tried to help and take care of them. FBR bought clothes and food for these people.

23-25 June: Burma Army troops used mortars to attack several villages. On the 23rd, the Burma Army fired two 81mm mortars from Kyauk Sa Wit to Wei Daw Koh Village. On 24 June, Burma Army from Nyaw Gone, Thae Goe, and Kyu Goe shelled two 60mm mortars at Thae Gow Village area at 2330. Again on 25 June in the morning, at 0615, they fired 11 more mortars and at 0730 and from 0840 to 0910, the Burma Army troops both shelled and attacked with many small arms into In-Net and Nge Byae Inn villages. 40 60mm rounds were fired and two villagers were wounded.

By the end of the day on the 25 June, 104 60mm rounds had been fired, including two 81 long range.

Five villagers were wounded:

  1. Saw Kyaw Kyaw, 28, injured in the chest.
  2. Saw Ya Neing Win, 27, hit in the foot and both legs.
  3. Saw Thet Wei Soe, 30, hit on calf.
  4. Ma Nyeing Nyeing Soe, 30, hit on calf.
  5. Daw San New, 61, hit on her arm.

The Burma Army reinforced with over 70 soldiers, all combined from the same units mentioned above.

Five villages fled without anything in their hands. The villages they are from are In-Net, Ta Ray Se Law, Nyaung Goe, Kyu Goe and Thae Goe, and Nge Bye Inn. The total is 581 families with 2622 people. 

At around 1400 hours on 25 June, three Burma Army trucks brought soldiers to reinforce. Earlier in the morning, 24-wheeled Burma Army vehicles arrived, with the FBR team on the ground thinking there is a possibility that these carried ammunition, mortars, and heavy weapons.

19 June: the Burma Army combined troops fired five 60mm rounds from Htee Puu Wah to Noh Gaw village area.

17-18 June 2022: the Burma Army shelled Wei Daw Koh Village with an 81mm mortar and the villagers fled. On 18 June, the Burma Army shelled three more times in the same area in the morning and two at night. They launched the mortars from Kyauk Sa Yeit to Wei Daw Koh. The combined troops were from: LIBs 20, 349 and IBs 264, 439, 60, and 351.

On 15 June, Burma Army troops from Toe Da Ta camp shot small arms around the camp. From Kyauk Kyi to Na Tha Gwein, the Burma Army set security and kept an ambush on both side of the road. The FBR team speculates that the Burma Army is prepping for increased activity.

On 14 June, 40 troops from LIB 20, based in Lin Bin Wei, led by Maj. Na Da Aung, demanded that villagers from Lin Bin Wei, Ta La Seik and Thik Payae Dah tear off the roofs of their farm huts, claiming that KNLA soldiers were hiding there.

12 June: The Burma Army combined troops fired 60mm mortars at 0900 into Lin Bin Wei. They hit one house and killed one cow.

On 10 June, the Burma Army IB 60, with a combined troop size of over 60 men, went down to Nge Bye Aye and shelled three 60 mm rounds around the village area. The next day, at 0840, the same troops went down again to the area and shelled four 60 mm mortars around Ta Ray Se Law and Nyaung Goe village area. They also shelled around the Theik Pa Yaw Dah Village area. All people were safe.

June 9: at Baw Ga Ta Burma Army camp, 30 men combined from IB 57 and LIB 20. They have one two and a half long range and 60mm mortars. They’ve been staging these weapons since May.  In Toe Ta Da camp there were about 20 men. At Toe Ta Da check point, Burma Army soldiers demand 5,000 kyats per bike and 15,000 kyats per three-wheeled bike and for a light truck, 30,000 kyats. For bigger trucks, they demand 50,000 kyats.

2nd June: fighting happened between the KNLA and Burma Army Div 11 troops, between Kyo Gyi and Ma Pee Doh old village. On 3 June, more troops reinforced at Kyo Gyi, about 200 soldiers. The troop combined with regional troops and Div 11.

At Bawgata and Toe Ta Dah camp, LIB 20 and IB 57 combined. The Burma Army was not allowing the people to pass the gate so people had to go elsewhere to push their bikes through.

Thanks and God bless you,

The Free Burma Rangers

The report in the link below details Burma Army activity all over Karen State for the months of March and April.