- Over 100 army personnel reported killed in other clashes along Thailand-Myanmar border
In what appears to be a strong opposition to a visit representatives by technical consultants from Russia, China, and North Korea to Myanmar, the People’s Revolutionary Alliance PDF launched missile attacks on the “No. 10 KAPS” junta weapons factory at Minhla in Magway Region of the country. The PDF fired 107mm missiles into the factory causing substantial damage. The incident occurred on April 8.
According to the Ayeyarwaddy Times, the condition of the foreigners – weapons specialists- is not yet known. The factory located in Magway has been producing large anti-aircraft and tank-launched missiles.
The ongoing conflict in Myanmar has intensified in the past few months with attack and counter attacks between the People Defence Forces (PDF) and its alliances and the Myanmar military junta. The conflict between ethnic armed groups and the military is also escalating especially with groups like the Karen National Union (KNU), the Chin National Army (CNA) and others mounting repeated assaults.
The Karen army appears mounted an all-out offensive against government security agencies. According to The Irrawaddy between April 3-6 as many 114 Myanmar junta forces were killed in joint attacks by the PDF and ethnics armed forces. The Ayeyarwaddy Times through its Facebook, reports that, on April 4 the Karen army and its “Lion Column” overtook 5 Border Guard Forces (BGF) camps, killed 85 BGF & junta troops and wounded 60 more. The Karen army is said to have captured 75 weapons, and smashed some casinos.
Border Guard Forces (BGF) are subdivisions of the Myanmar Armed Forces consisting of former insurgent groups in Myanmar under the instruction of Regional Military Commands. The government announced its plan to create Border Guard Forces in April 2009, with the hope of ending hostilities between the government and insurgent groups leading up to the 2010 elections.
The Myanmar Army and the BGF have clashed with the KNU and the PDF along the Kawkareik and Myawaddy townships since April 5.
On April 6, the Karen army in an attack captured many junta/BGF camps and on April 5 it attacked areas around Shwe Kokkol, the BGF-controlled zone on the Myanmar-Thailand border north of Myawaddy, where Chinese businessmen have illicit gambling dens and telephone scam operations. These attacks come close on the heels of strikes on four targets in Dooplaya District and capturing a Mutraw District camp in late March.
The junta too has been attempting to mount a counter-offensive, accompanied by jet bombing in different parts of the Thailand-Myanmar border and other areas. Following these incidents, over 8,000 refugees are said to have crossed the Thu Mwe River into Thailand.
Meanwhile, the DVB reports that Resistance forces requested the public to not use the Myawaddy-Kawkareik “Asia Highway” until April 21 due to ongoing clashes. Resistance forces claim that the military junta has been transporting its troops in civilian vehicles along the route. The Thai-Burma border trade has been disrupted due to the fighting.
According to the DVB, two civilians were killed and four were injured, including children, by artillery shells in Pyar Sakhan village of Than Daung Gyi Township on April 6.
Quoting locals, the Burmese news outlet further said that four shells were fired by the Burma Army. A pastor’s wife who was returning from an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp after giving food was killed by a shell, the report said, adding that village residents have informed about the killing of a child. The injured were taken to Taungoo Hospital.