Karen National Liberation Army has ‘killed more than 180 junta soldiers’ since June

The Karen National Union (KNU) says its fighters have killed more than 180 junta soldiers since the start of June.

Twenty-six of the fatalities, as well as 35 injuries, were inflicted over the past week during fighting in Hpapun, Karen State, the group’s information department said in a statement. 

Between July 15 and 22 there were 29 clashes between the junta’s forces and Brigade 5 of the KNU’s armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the statement said

A civilian and five buffalos were killed when the junta’s side fired around 40 shells at a village during one clash, it added, while two military vehicles and a bridge at the entrance to Hpapun, also known as Mutraw, were destroyed

The statement did not give details of casualties on the KNLA’s side. 

Soldiers have rampaged through parts of Hpapun in search of young men and, when they were unable to find them, detained their fathers instead, the statement added. 

The junta has not publicly commented on the announcement.

Lieutenant Colonel Saw Kler Doh, the spokesperson for Brigade 5, said the KNLA killed over 150 junta soldiers in June, and another 10 in the first week of July. 

The military-backed Karen Border Guard Force (BGF) joined junta soldiers in attacks against the KNLA, clashing with the group’s Battalion 1 in Thaton, across the border in Mon State, on July 17. 

There were two severe injuries on the BGF’s side and none on the KNLA’s, the KNU said. 

Fierce clashes between the KNLA and the military began in the wake of the February 1 coup, which the KNU strongly opposed. 

The junta has since displaced tens of thousands of people with air strikes in Hpapun and Nyaung Laybin.

“Although the air raids were targeted at Brigade 5… these are the acts of terrirosm on all Karen regions and the Karen ethnicity by the terrorist organisation that is the military,” KNLA deputy commander-in-chief Lieutenant General Saw Baw Kyaw Heh told Myanmar Now in April. 

Related Articles

Back to top button