KNLA take back Thay Baw Bo camp from military, decades after losing the position

KNLA take back Thay Baw Bo camp from military, decades after losing the position

A KNU camp, for decades held by the military, is back in the hands of Karen resistance groups after fighting broke out between the Burma Army and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) on the night of May 17 near Thay Baw Bo village, south of Myawaddy.

Fighting continued into the morning and the army fired on homes from a helicopter over the village, according to a Karen Information Center report. 

“The military started shooting near Thay Baw Bo village at 12.15 a.m. Houses in the village were definitely hit. The fighting is still going on, said a resident of the village. He added that a military helicopter flew above the village around 11 a.m. today for reconnaissance and opened fire around the area. 

According to an update from Karen National Media, KNLA coalition forces seized the major camp — which had been taken from the KNU by the Burma Army during fighting in 1990 — at around 3.30 p.m. despite military jets firing on targets aerially. 

A video showing the KNU raising its flag at the camp was released together with the news. 

Six Burma Army personnel including sergeants were detained and given proper medical treatment. Around 10 junta troops were killed in the fighting and another two were captured this morning, according to KNLA sources. 

Three resistance force members were killed and another four were wounded while many weapons, explosives, ammunition, and other military equipment was seized. 

The military conducted is said to have conducted a total of 35 airstrikes during the clashes. 

The KNLA and Cobra Column are now clearing out the area. Around 300 villagers in the area fled to Thailand due to the battle.