Bangkok (AP) — Ethnic Karen guerrillas said they occupied a Myanmar military base on Tuesday. This represents a morale-boosting action by the military in February against the takeover of the country’s civilian government.
A spokesman for the Karen National Union, a major minority political group seeking greater autonomy from the Myanmar central government, said the group’s armed wings attacked the base at 5 am and burned it shortly after dawn. Said that.
The number of casualties is not yet known, KNU’s Foreign Minister Padoh Saw Taw Nee said in a text message. There was no immediate comment from Myanmar’s military administration.
Controlling the territory of eastern Myanmar near the Thai border, KNU is a close ally of the resistance movement against military takeovers that expelled Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.
A video shot from the Thai side of the border showed the flames rising from a government location on the banks of the Salween River in the sound of intense shooting. The river marks the border with Thailand.
An unknown villager on the Thai side of the river saw seven government soldiers fleeing a camp opposite the village of Maesamrape in Thailand, according to a report from the Karen Information Center, an online news site.
The battle between KNU militants, the Karen National Liberation Army, and the Myanmar Army has been fierce since February.
Myanmar jets bombed Karen’s village and strafed, and its troops deployed fresh battalions in the area in preparation for a major attack.
According to Free Burma Rangers, a humanitarian group operating in the area, up to 25,000 villagers have been displaced and hidden in jungles and caves.
In response, KNLA has continued guerrilla attacks on Myanmar patrols and bases. KNU has also provided shelter for activists who oppose the junta, which has fled the government’s crackdown on resistance movements in cities.
A similar situation occurred in northern Myanmar, claiming that a Kachin minority occupied several government outposts and was the target of air raids.
Karen and Kachin are two of the larger minority groups that have sought greater autonomy for decades during the period of armed conflict interrupted by the ceasefire.
The current city-based resistance movement against the ruling Junta has begged ethnic guerrilla groups in the hope that they can form a federal army as a counterweight to the government’s army. A parallel Government of National Unity, established by elected members, was prevented from taking seats by the military and appointed representatives of several minority groups to ministerial posts.