Government troops attack rebel outpost

Apr 7, 2009 (DVB), Government military troops and fighters from a pro-junta ceasefire army attacked and captured an outpost close to a strategically important base of a prominent rebel group last week.

Burmese military personnel and troops from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army launched a raid on a base belonging to the Karen National Liberation Army, the armed wing of the opposition group Karen National Union.

Lieutenant Kyi Aung, an official at the KNU base in Karen state's Walakee region, said the attack on Saturday was the government's first step in their plan to take control of the main base.

The base is located in a crucial position for regional trade and strategic military routes.

"Our soldiers [who fled the outpost] said the DKBA attacked them from behind while coming in from the Thai side," said Kyi Aung.

He said the attack from government forces in the area continued over the weekend.

The DKBA split from the KNU in 1994, initially presenting itself as an alternative to the KNU before allying itself with the government.

Last week, the son of a former KNU leader joined another pro-government splinter group, the KNU Peace Council.

With three Karen splinter groups now allied to the ruling State Peace and Development Council, some Burmese military analysts have speculated that the recent attack by Burmese troops could be due to information supplied by the defectors.

Casualties from the latest assault are unknown.

Reporting by Soe Naing

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