A convoy carrying senior Burmese military officials, including chief of Military Affairs Security, Ye Myint, were yesterday targeted in an attack by the opposition Karen National Union (KNU).
Five Burmese army soldiers were killed as the eight-vehicle convoy came under grenade attack as it headed to Myawaddy in eastern Karen state, but no senior officials were hurt. Also in the vehicles were lieutenant-general Khin Zaw, chief of Bureau of Special Operations 4 and major-general Thet Naing Win, the Southeastern [Regional] Military Commander.
“The attack took place outside of Kawkareit in the valley,” said a source in the KNLA/KNU Peace Council group, which is close to the KNU.
“The [Burmese army] had some manpower… maybe some escort vehicles were hit. We heard general Khin Zaw was spared but all four of his men [bodyguards] were seriously injured. We know the attackers were Karen… of course, they have been pressuring some Karen so [they can expect] to get attacked by the Karen.”
Phaw Doh, commander of Battalion 101 of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the KNU, said the attack was carried out by their troops and five Burmese soldiers, including one officer, were killed.
“We’ve been informed there was an officer among the five killed but we couldn’t identify who that was. The attack was carried out by Karen revolutionary fighters who dislike the [Burmese government].”
He added that the convoy headed back to Kawkareit in Karen state after the attack took place around 10am yesterday, and later sent out some army troops to clear the route. Two of the troops sent stepped on landmines.
Around 2pm yesterday Khin Zaw returned to Myawaddy and ordered the lowering of KNU and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) flags, according to a source close to the DKBA.