Analysis

What was behind the KNLA’s withdrawal from Myawaddy?

The unexpected move reflects the complicated situation on the ground in Karen State, where doubts linger about where some groups stand in the conflict

On April 11, Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Brigade 6 and its allies launched an attack on the Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 275 camp west of Myawaddy, forcing the junta troops stationed there to retreat with their weapons.

About 200 junta soldiers, including troops from LIB 275, the Coastal Military Command, and Light Infantry Division (LID) 44, retreated to a truck depot north of Myawaddy, near Friendship Bridge 2.

The bridge, sometimes simply called “Border Bridge 2” by locals, is one of two connecting Myawaddy to Mae Sot, a town on the opposite bank of the Moei (Thaungyin) River in Thailand’s Tak Province.

After capturing the LIB 275 camp, the KNLA raised the Karen national flag.

There have been reports that the Karen State Border Guard Force (Karen BGF) assisted the retreating junta forces, who dug trenches and fortified their defences at the truck depot near Friendship Bridge 2. . .

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