Fighting Continues in Karen and Mon States

By The Irrawaddy 29 September 2014

Fighting continued between the Burma Army and a Karen rebel group, the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), in Mon State on Sunday.

The fighting near Kyaikmayaw in Mon State, which erupted on Friday after DKBA forces detained eight government soldiers and police officers and injured two soldiers in an exchange of fire, continued yesterday from 9 am.

Saw San Aung, a leader of the DKBA, told The Irrawaddy by phone on Sunday that there were casualties on both sides during the conflict which lasted until around 2:30 pm.

On Saturday, heavy fighting also erupted between the Burma Army and the DKBA on the outskirts of Karen State’s Myawaddy near the Thai-Burma border, forcing dozens of residents to flee their homes to escape the violence. The Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge connecting Myawaddy with Thailand’s Mae Sot was also temporarily closed during the fighting.

There were no reports of further fighting in Myawaddy on Sunday according to an Irrawaddy reporter in the town.

Tensions between government forces and armed Karen groups in eastern Burma have risen in recent weeks after a string of violent incidents. On Sept. 19, government security forces shot and killed a DKBA soldier who was allegedly drunk driving on a road outside of Myawaddy. On Sept. 21, the dead, handcuffed body of a Karen National Union (KNU) soldier was found in the Moei River in the same town.