Karen Commander Killed in Attack on Myanmar Junta Outpost

By The Irrawaddy 2 May 2022

A commander in the Karen National Union (KNU) died in the clash with Myanmar’s military in Papun Township, Karen State, on April 28.

Around 100 troops from the Brigade 5 of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the KNU, and the Bamar People’s Liberation Army (BPLA) attacked a junta outpost of around 20 soldiers, including the deputy commander of the Papun-based Light Infantry Battalion 434 on April 28.

Colonel Nay Toe (also known as Saw Htoo Kashaw) died in the five-hour clash.

“After five hours they could no longer withstand us and started to retreat. As we chased, the colonel went down to check foxholes and a junta soldier was in one. He was shot in his throat and died immediately,” said a KNU officer.

There were reports that four other KNLA fighters died in the clash. The Irrawaddy was unable to reach the KNLA Brigade 5 spokesman for confirmation.

The BPLA said it attacked and occupied the junta’s Kyauk Nyet outpost alongside the KNLA.

Maung Saung Kha, a poet turned resistance fighter and a BPLA member, posted on Facebook that the death of Col Saw Htoo Kashaw is a huge loss for the revolution.

“He was not only the leader of Brigade 5 but also our leader. It is a great loss,” he wrote.

Col Saw Htoo Kawshaw was widely tipped as the next Brigade 5 leader.

The regime also suffered casualties in the fighting.

Junta aircraft dropped bombs on Mae Nu Htar village near the outpost following the fighting, according to KNU sources.