Civilians Killed By Burma Army Jets and Mortars: Over 8,000 Displaced by Fighting in Ler Doh and Hsa Hti Townships, Western Karen State, Burma

14 December 2022

Ler Doh and Hsa Hti Townships, Western Karen State, Burma

Fighting continues in Ler Doh and Hsa Hti townships of western Karen State, displacing over 8,315 villagers from more than nine villages in the last two months. The car road between Kyauk Kyi and Shwe Gyin has become a war zone for civilians living in the area. Over the past two months, November in particular, more than 8,000 people have fled their homes to escape bombings, mortars, drones, beatings, abductions and death by attacking Burma Army jets, artillery and ground troops. On November 12, local resistance groups captured three Burma Army camps within the area, Baw Ga Hta, Toe Tah Dah and Tha Seik camps. Significant fighting increased as Burma Army reinforcements from Shwe Gyin were intercepted by resistance groups along the car road. Civilians suffered as Burma Army jets, mortars, and drones bombed the country side and soldiers burned house after house. FBR teams in the area report that three civilians have been killed and five injured by Burma Army munitions during October and November. The camps were eventually reclaimed and reinforced by the Burma Army. Burma Army troops spreading from these camps are forcing villagers out of their homes to make room for Burma Army infrastructure such as additional camps and airstrips.

On October 22, Burma Army troops shot and killed Naw Day Nyaw Paw, a 48-year-old woman working at her farm. The troops then looted and burned some of the surrounding structures. Four days later, a Burma Army unit from Na Tha Gwen camp injured two villagers after dropping bombs from a drone. On 2 November, the Burma Army fired mortars into Ta Ray Se Village, killing one man and injuring two others. In Pa Den Gow Village, the Burma Army troops began burning homes; seven were completely destroyed. On 28 November, Burma Army troops from Yin Oh Sein fired mortars into Zaw Wei Village, killing a young father. FBR medics tried to help but were unable to save his life.

Throughout these two months, FBR teams, in conjunction with local community leaders have been delivering what aid they can in the form of food and shelter to those displaced. The fighting continues into December with families digging shelters next to their homes to protect themselves from jet fighter, mortar and drone attacks. Below are photos of the aforementioned events within Ler Doh and Hsa Hti townships in western Karen State, followed by a detailed incident log.

Warning: Graphic image below that some readers may find disturbing.

Local community distributes rice to IDPs.
Naw Day Nya Paw, shot dead by Burma Army soldiers.
House destroyed by Burma Army soldiers.
Min Ko Aung lost his eye after a Burma Army drone attack.
Burma Army drone munition fragments. 
Home damaged by Burma Army mortar strike.
Home damaged by Burma Army mortars strike.
Villagers flee as Burma Army jets conduct bombing runs. 
Villagers flee with what they can carry.
Young mother gives birth 500 meters from Burma Army patrol.
FBR teams and locals transport young mother and child to a safe location.
Young children take cover from jet and mortar attacks.
FBR teams and local leaders distribute food to IDPs.
A young mother collecting food from a distribution.
Burma Army soldiers burn homes in Pa Den Gow Village.
FBR medics working on injured villager from Burma Army mortar attack on Zaw Wei Village.
Young man killed by Burma Army mortar attack.
Family of the young man killed by mortar attack.
Children helping to dig a bomb shelter near their home.

Incident Summary:

October 14:  Ta Ko Ro, a 35-year-old male, was detained at Kaw Tha Say Village by Burma Army troops garrisoned at Toe Tah Dah Camp.  The soldiers took 400,000 kyat from him then forced him to sit in the sun for hours before releasing him later that day.

October 18:  The local community around Kyo Bin Seik IDP camp distributed rice to IDPs taking shelter in the area.

October 22:  KNLA and Burma Army LIB 590 fought in Nyaw Gu, Mon township.

October 22:  Following a battle between the KNLA and Burma Army troops, Burma Army soldiers shot and killed Naw Day Nya Paw, a 48-year-old woman working her farm.  The troops then looted the surrounding area of food and materials, burning 3 farm huts before leaving.

October 26:  A Burma Army unit from Na Tha Gwen Camp dropped munitions from a drone, injuring two civilians.  Min Ko Aung from War Bin Suu village lost his eye.  An unidentified female was injured as well.

November 02:  Burma Army troops garrisoned at Thae Goe Camp fired mortars into Ta Ray Se Village, killing one man, Ba Jar, age 40, and wounding two other men, Koh Htoo age 40 and Moses age 39.

November 05:  A combined Burma Army troop of Div. 77 and others entered the village of War Bin Suu capturing and detaining a total of 46 men, women and children.  The troop left at 0830 after burning down the village’s security hut.

November 08-09:  BA Troops stations at Na Tha Gwein fired mortars into the vicinity of Noh Gaw Village along the Ler do – Na Tha Geein car road.

November 11:  The KNLA attacked and captured three Burma Army camps, Baw Ga Hta, Tha Seik and Toe Tah Dah Camps.  Advancing KNLA troops found Toe Tah Dah camp recently deserted.  FBR teams used their truck to move wounded to a safe place.  Villagers fled their homes as jets flew bombing runs overhead.

November 13:  Fighting occurred between KNLA and Burma Army troops at a bridge near Baw Ga Hta as the Burma Army attempted to retake their camp.  Villagers fled Baw Ga Hta village as a result of the fighting.  As fighting spread throughout the area two Burma Army trucks stopped just 500 meters away from a mother giving birth.  She was evacuated by FBR team members along the river by boat and then overland in a hammock to a safe location.  Both mother and child are healthy.

November 15-16:  Fighting continued outside the village of Kaw Tha Say between the KNLA and Burma Army.  Burma Army troops fired mortars into the village destroying the homes of Saw Nay Kaw Moo and Naw Paw Lah.  Burma Army trucks from Shwe Gyin moved to reinforce troops stationed at Baw Ga Hta camp only to be intercepted by KNLA outside Kaw Tha Say Village.

November 19:  Villagers and FBR team members distributed rice to IDPs in the plains.

November 21:  Fighting occurred near Baw Ga Hta Burma Army Camp.

November 23:  Two large trucks carrying two tanks left Shwe Gyin heading towards Tha Seik Burma Army Camp.

November 24:  Two Burma Army trucks carrying troops arrived at Pa Zoe Myaw Village and demanded the villagers leave or be beaten.  A similar situation occurred in a section of Swe Gyin in which Burma Army troops demanded villagers leave their homes so that the Burma Army could build a landing strip.  Burma Army troops dispersed from Tha Seik Camp into the surrounding area.  Before there were 200 soldiers of LIB 20 at Tha Seik Camp, now there are 30-40 men.

November 25:  Village leaders and FBR teams distributed food to villagers from 8 villages taking refuge at Hay Thaw Wei Village comprised of over 105 families and 443 people.

November 28:  Burma Army troops came to Pa Den Gow village and burned down 7 houses and shops On November 2nd BA fired mortars into Ta Ray Se Village killing one man and injuring two others.  In Pa Den Gow Village BA troops began burning homes in which 7 were completely destroyed.  Burma Army troops from Yin Oh Sein fired mortars into Zaw Wei Village killing a young father and injuring at least 1 other young male.  FBR Medics responded but were unable to save one of the young men’s lives.  

Thanks and God bless,

Free Burma Rangers