Karen forces fire shots at two bases in southeast Myanmar after junta soldiers ignore order to leave

Soldiers from the Karen National Union’s (KNU) armed wing fired guns at two junta bases in Mon State on Saturday after the Myanmar military ignored a warning from the rebel group to leave the area. 

The Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO) on Wednesday gave junta troops at the bases in Bilin Township three days to either vacate the area or contact the KNU to surrender. 

“We heard that the military did not respond to the order at all, so we are going to take further military action,” said Padoh Saw Soe Myint, chair of the KNU’s Brigade 1. Junta soldiers fired shots from their positions at random after Saturday’s attack. Padoh Saw Soe Myint said he was unclear if there were any casualties from the clash.

The bases are located in Lay Kay and Win Tar Pan villages in Mon State’s Bilin Township (Myanmar Now)

The KNU said it issued the ultimatum to prevent the roughly 80 junta troops committing human rights abuses against civilians in and around Lay Kay and Win Tar Pan, the two villages where the bases are located. 

Lay Kay and Win Tar Pan are about eight miles from one another and sit amid forests near Mon’s border with Karen State. 

Several junta aircraft were seen flying above the two villages after the KNU issued its warning, Padoh Saw Soe Myint said. “The only thing we can say for now is that the situation is very tense,” he added.

The KNU said on Sunday that a 14-year-old girl and a 66-year-old woman were injured in Bilin’s Daw Zan Gyi village after the junta-backed Border Guard Force fired artillery shells. 

In late March the KNU seized the Maw Khee base in Myawaddy from the junta. Junta forces reclaimed the base in early April, but only after suffering heavy casualties during its offensive.

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