Clashes between two Border Guard Force (BGF) units in Karen state broke out last week, leaving one senior-ranking commander dead, according to the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).
The DKBA’s spokesperson Saw Lon Lon, of the Klohtoobaw command, told the Karen Information Centre that a vehicle carrying a platoon commander from BGF 1011’s, Lieutenant Tin Nyunt, came under sniper fire from the 1012 unit while it was crossing a bridge near the Myainggyingu region.
Tin Nyunt was killed during the attack. His brother, who was driving the vehicle, is claimed by sources to be missing, while other reports suggest he is alive and unharmed.
An unnamed DKBA official at the group’s liaison office in Myawaddy said the vehicle Tin Nyunt was riding in belonged to the DKBA’s 905th Battalion, suggesting it could have been a case of mistaken identity.
“We assume the BGF 1012 took them for the DKBA and shot them up,” said the unnamed official.
The DKBA, led by Brig-Gen Saw La Bwe, rejected a proposal from the former military junta in 2010 that demanded the group transform into a Border Guard Force and assimilate into the Burmese army. This move effectively ended a 15-year ceasefire agreement, but the two sides have been engaged in talks over the past three months and have signed a tentative deal.
Skirmishes have continued between BGF’s and armed Karen factions amid ceasefire talks that are continuing with several armed groups in the region.