Daily News-October 20 - 2001- Saturday

  • 8 Myanmar soldiers killed by rebel-laid land mines
  • Militants attack BSF post on Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur
  • Burma Refugees Swell Thai Camps

  • 8 Myanmar soldiers killed by rebel-laid land mines

    MAE SOT, Oct. 19, Kyodo - Eight Myanmar soldiers were killed and 15 others injured late Wednesday from land mines laid by ethnic Karen rebels of the Karen National Union (KNU) near Myanmar's border with Thailand, a Thai military source said Friday.

    The incident took place in an area of Myanmar opposite the Phop Phra district of Thailand's Tak Province, some 500 kilometers northwest of Bangkok. The rebels have recently stepped up their offensive against Myanmar soldiers.

    Earlier this week, three Myanmar soldiers were shot to death in a border area of Kayin State opposite Thailand's Mae Sot Province.

    The KNU is the largest armed group of Karens. It took up arms against the central government in Yangon in 1949 to fight for establishment of a federal union in which all the states would have equal rights and the right to self-determination.
    Militants attack BSF post on Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur

    Armed militants attacked a Border Security Force post on the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur's Chandel district in the wee hours of Friday, official sources said. They said militants raided the BSF post at Chavangphai village, about 1.5 km east of Moreh, and the exchange of fire lasted for about half an hour.

    There was no casualty on the BSF side, the sources said adding it was not known whether any of the militants, who slipped into the nearby jungles, was hurt in the incident. Heavy reinforcement was rushed to the post and all security posts in the Indo-Myanmar border were also alerted, they added. Meanwhile, the situation along the border was tense but under control, the sources said.
    Burma Refugees Swell Thai Camps

    FEER, Issue cover-dated October 25, 2001

    Camps just inside Thailand are now holding more than 137,500 ethnic-minority refugees from Burma. Numbers are swelling by about 1,200 a month as refugees flee stepped-up Burmese army operations in their areas,say aid workers. This compares to about 500 per month two years ago.

    According to the aid workers, Burmese troops are burning villages,forcing people to become porters, and carrying out some executions. The army is trying to take total control of the border areas and stamp out ethnic-minority rebels.

    Most of the armed opposition is by the Shan State Army and Karen National Union. More than 100,000 of the refugees are Karen, with fewer ethnic Karenni and Mon. One of the reasons the camps hold so few Shan refugees is because those that do cross the border are more easily absorbed into Thai society.