[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Rebels claim SLORC torched 30

Subject: Rebels claim SLORC torched 30                             villages: Karen rebels

Rebels claim SLORC torched 30
                            villages: Karen rebels

                            BANGKOK, April 7 (AFP) - Burmese government
forces targetting
                            Karen National Union (KNU) guerrillas have
torched 30 villages in a
                            "cruel" drive that is terrorising ethnic Karens
and other people, a
                            senior KNU official said Monday.

                            KNU joint first general secretary Mahn Sha said
junta troops were
                            burning settlements and rice supplies as they
tried to flush out
                            rebel guerrillas in eastern Burma.

                            "They've burned about 30 villages. It's not just
operations against
                            the KNU, but against Karen people and all people
inside Burma,"
                            he told AFP by telephone from the Thai border.

                            He said the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC), as
                            the junta is known, was undertaking a "very
cruel" campaign
                            through northern Papun district, in the KNU's
Fifth Brigade area,
                            where the villages are located.

                            In a press release received here, the KNU named
villages burned
                            down and detailed dozens of rice barns and
thousands of baskets
                            of paddy destroyed since mid-February.

                            Papun is one of several isolated regions in
central and eastern
                            Burma where the KNU, the only major ethnic
insurgency yet to
                            reach a ceasefire with the SLORC, maintains
guerrilla resistance
                            but holds no fixed territory.

                            Another rebel source said the junta had deployed
an extra nine
                            battalions in Papun, bringing the total in the
region to 15

                            Mahn Sha said that junta forces were still
conducting operations
                            throughout all KNU areas, amid continuing
clashes with KNU

                            The KNU has lost territorial control of the
enclaves it formerly held
                            in its Sixth and Fourth Brigade areas, since
thousands of SLORC
                            troops began a sweep along Burma's mountainous
eastern frontier
                            with Thailand nearly two months ago.

                            An estimated 20,000 Karens have fled to Thailand
during the
                            offensive, bringing to more than 90,000 the
number of Karens
                            now sheltering in Thai camps after fleeing
military rule in Burma.