The Burma Army Continues its Campaign of Killing and Fear in Nyaunglebin District, Karen State

19 August 2023

Nyaunglebin District, Karen State, Burma

In Nyaunglebin District, the Burma Army continues its assault on the Karen people. Mortar attacks and arson are frequent, resulting in thousands of displaced people pushed into the jungle, both because their homes have destroyed and to escape Burma Army attacks. Violence against these civilians is no accident; they are targets.

On 10 May 2023, the Burma Army entered Nyaw Bin Tha Village and killed 22 people, including seven children. The bodies of the seven children and 12 of the adults were partially burned, with evidence that they may have been burned alive. Three more bodies, of two women and one man, were found unburned; the man’s body bore evidence of torture. The Burma Army troops responsible were from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 599 and Infantry Battalion (IB) 48, under Division 44.

In another attack, the Burma Army shelled six villages over the course of a few days in June. The 81mm mortar rounds that landed in Nge Aye, Tha Min Aye Goe, and U Kyaw Lein, Ywa Gyi Aye, and Thet Ket Goe villages killed two people and injured eight more while forcing entire communities to flee from their homes.

On July 18, Burma Army troops stormed Naung Gon Village, burning to the ground 21 homes and 16 storehouses, along with five motorbikes and a generator. This level of property destruction is becoming common.

This report, which includes information from one FBR team working in one area of Karen State, includes record of the Burma Army killing at least 31 people, injuring 12, and capturing and illegally holding 26 over the last few months. The Free Burma Rangers estimate that at least 10,000 have been displaced by the specific attacks reported here. Despite the pain and suffering inflicted upon the Karen people, they are resilient. Our teams work hard to help those affected by providing medical support, supplies, and encouragement.

FBR medics treat Saw Gay Say, who ran into a Burma Army tripwire.
Burned remains found at the Nyaw Bin Tha attack.
Villagers flee across a river after attacks from the Burma Army.
Charred remains of homes destroyed by the Burma Army in Naung Gon Village.
FBR teams lead a Good Life Program for displaced people.
FBR teams provide medical relief to people forced from their homes.
Saw Eh Moo was tortured by the Burma Army.

Incident Summary:

1 May: Rangers provided medical care for Let Kaut Wa villagers.

2 May: Rangers provide medical care and support for 500 IDPs.

3 May: Burma Army shelled Ya Myo Aung Village from Na Tha Gwein. They then proceeded to burn the village, shooting and killing a young man.

4 May: Saw Eh Moo (42) was captured by the Burma Army after being accused of being with the Karen National Union (KNU). Burma Army held him for 10 days. Each morning they poured urine on him and he was often tortured. On the final day, they poured gasoline on his arm and set it alight, resulting in horrible burns.

7 May: Burma Army, led by commander Zin Ya Lin, captured one villager from Ler Doh and tortured him.

10 May: Burma Army entered Nyaw Bin Tha Village and killed 22 people, including seven children under 10 years old. Most were burned alive. One man, Ko Ha Soe (34), was killed by the Burma Army forcing a stick up his anus.

19 May: Burma Army moved from Toe Ta Dah, clashing with Ethnic Armed Organization (EAO) forces. The Burma Army shot and killed one villager, Saw Kwa Poe (47), and one Karen soldier.

20 May: Burma Army launched 81mm mortars from Kyo Daw into villages in the Ta Kaut Pwa area, starting at 5am and finally stopping at 5pm.

23 May: Saw Gay Say (40) hit a Burma Army trip wire. Luckily the explosive did not detonate, but he was still left with painful lacerations and bruising.

5 June: Burma Army captured one man from Hsit Gow Village, U Myit Aung (50), and took him back to their camp. Burma Army troops entered Yin Dwein Go, Oh Chit Go, and Tha byi Go villages, forcing 1,365 people to flee.

6 June: LIB 599 captured two Ta Kau Pwa villagers, Saw Ta Tuu Mae (35) and Saw Pler Moo (38), at 0600 and took them back to camp blindfolded. Burma Army planes bombed the Na Tha Gwein area, forcing villagers from Natha Gwein, Daw Mot, Warbin Suu, Taw Kyaw Pauk, and Thaung Bot to flee. The total displaced was 2,616 people.

9 June: Burma Army shelled from Ywein Kyaw into Yin Dwein Go Village and killed one man, Saw Hsit Poe (26). Burma Army shelled from Hse Ma Taung into Pay Tuu Village, killing one villager, Naw Bau Htoo (53). Burma Army burned two homes in Wa Bin Suu Village.

13 June: Burma Army captured 5 villagers on their motorbikes in Pyu.

15 June: Burma Army troops fired 15 81mm mortars into Gwa A Su and Sa Lo Gyi villages, forcing 2000 IDPs out of the area.

16 June: Burma Army fired 81mm mortars from Oh Pya into Gwa A Su Village, injuring 2 villagers: Ko Maw(32) and Maung Aung Zaw Oo(34).

23 June: Burma Army drones dropped 3 bombs into Ywa Gyi Aye, Hsaw Hti Township.

24 June: Burma Army shelled 2 60mm mortar rounds from Inn Wei into Thet Ket Goe Village, injuring 3 villagers, Dwe Pyaw Ee(75), Daw Moe Moe(44), and Ma Yoe Na De Poo(10).

26 June: Burma Army shelled 2 81mm mortar rounds from Natha Gwein into Nge Aye Village and injured one girl, Naw Hkin Htaw Aye (11). Next, they shelled Tha Min Aye Goe and killed 2 villagers, Daw Lin Lin Aye (44) and Daw Kin Nuu (50). Last, they shelled U Kyaw Lein, injuring three children, Ma Pyu Nein Thet (13), Maung Pyo Wein Linn( 13), and Maung Nya Linn Htun (13).

27 June: Burma Army shelled 2 81mm mortar rounds into Pyae Yin, injuring one villager, Saw Kyaw Linn Soe (22). They also launched rounds into Y-Joe, Thet Tuu Goe, and Thet Ken Goe villages.

30 June: Burma Army shelled 9 mortar rounds into Yin Dwein and 9 more into Pa Re See Sot, forcing the inhabitants to flee. Burma Army forces from Shwe Gyin shot and killed Nay Linn Htun, a staff member at Nyaung Le Bin high school.

2 July: Burma Army shelled 4 rounds from K-Ka La Village into Ka Nye Jo and then shelled 2 rounds into Nge Pae Inn, destroying 6 houses. Burma Army shelled 32 60mm mortar rounds into Oh Chi Goe, killing Saw Soe Maung Keing(42) and Sae Wa Du(30). Later LIB 599 shelled 15 mortar rounds into Inn-to-Inn Shein and killed one villager, Daw Nay Se(52).

3 July: Burma Army launched 46 60mm rounds into Thay Gay Lu, Oh Chi Goe and Oh Bin Suu villages, killing one villager, Saw Ta Moo Moo (18). Later, Burma Army forces shelled Kyi Bin Pauk, injuring 2 villagers, Ko Keing Soe and Ma Cho.

5 July: Burma Army troops from IB 264 and Div 77 clashed with resistance forces between Oh Bin Su and Oh Chit Goe. The Burma Army then entered Oh Chit Goe village, after shooting and shelling, and forced the inhabitants out. Burma Army IB 264 / Div 77 launched 81mm mortar rounds into Ta Le Kin and Na Sa, killing one villager, Neing Neing Moo (34), and injuring 2 more: Bra Bu (38) and Ma Nyeing Aye Chit (16). This displaced 50 people.

6 July: Burma Army IB 264 captured 2 Klaw Ma Ko villagers, Saw Yet Myit (25) and Saw Aung Ko Min (23), while they were on their way to shop at Nyang Lin Bin. They were taken to the Kyauk Ta Ga police office. Burma Army Mi35 shot 12 rounds at Le Lah Gu village.

7 July: Burma Army troops destroyed Yin Dwein Go village, killing villagers in the process.

8 July: Burma Army troops burned down a house inn Saw Sein containing household materials. Burma Army IB 264 captured 20 villagers from the Ler Doh plains areas, later setting one free and putting the rest in jail. They also killed one villager from Ba Tha Gwein, Ye Gyi (45).

14 July: Internally displaced people fled from beyond the Sittaung River, taking shelter at Aw Pa Lah village.

18 July: Burma Army troops entered Noh Gu village and burned 21 houses, 16 storehouses, 5 motorbikes, and 1 generator.

25 July: Burma Army IB 264 captured one villager from Yin Dwein Go and tortured him.