Fighting Breaks Out in Myawaddy

By SAW YAN NAING Monday, November 8, 2010

Fighting between the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) Brigade 5 and Burmese government troops broke out in the Burmese-Thai border region of Karen State on Monday morning, DKBA and Myawaddy sources reported.

Brigade 5 commander Na Kham Mwe, said: “The fighting began at about 9 a.m. They [regime troops] opened fire first. We ordered our troops to fire back.”

DKBA troops under Na Kham Mwe's command also took up positions on Monday morning at the Three Pagodas Pass on the Burmese-Thai border, where Burmese government troops have been deployed.

In the Myawaddy fighting, one mortar landed on the Thailand side of the Myawaddy-Mae Sot bridge at 9: 30 a.m, injuring one woman, according to eye-witnesses.

“The situation is escalating and the fighting is continuing,” said one witness.
Sources said at least seven people have so far been injured in the Burmese border town of Myawaddy.

“More and more troops are being sent by the Burmese government. It seems they don’t want to negotiate,” said Na Kham Mwe.

Tension between the DKBA Brigade 5 and Burmese government troops peaked on Sunday night, after DKBA forces laid siege to some key positions and were deployed around Myawaddy.

DKBA Brigade 5 is the only DKBA faction to reject the junta’s border guard force (BGF) plan. Tension between the Na Kham Mwe faction and the government army has been mounting since the group rejected the BGF proposal.   

Representatives of the DKBA faction and the Burmese regime earlier tried without success to negotiate an end to the Myawaddy standoff. Na Kham Mwe’s colleague, Lt-Col Saw Kyaw Thet, head of DKBA Battalion 902 under Brigade 5, is commanding the DKBA troops.

Sources on the border also said the Karen National Liberation Army, military wing of the Karen National Union, is on high alert and is reportedly ready to help the DKBA faction if needed.

No comments: