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Last military outpost in Myawaddy seized by Karen forces

The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), along with the People’s Defense Force (PDF), seized the last remaining Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 275 military outpost in Myawaddy Township of Karen State on Thursday. 

Saw Neh Da Htoo, the Karen National Union (KNU) tactical commander for Brigade 6, said that the military carried out retaliatory airstrikes after the KNLA-led forces took control of Myawaddy town, which is home to the third largest border gate in Myanmar and one of the most lucrative for trade between the regime in Naypyidaw and Bangkok.

More than 50 regime troops were killed in the fighting and 200 fled toward Thailand, according to the KNU. Thousands of Myawaddy residents have evacuated across the border to Mae Sot, as Thailand’s Foreign Minister announced on Wednesday that it would accept up to 100,000 refugees fleeing the violence, temporarily.

“The remaining military [regime] personnel are worried and afraid. They are on the Thai-Myanmar border bridge. I think that there is not one of the remaining [regime] troops in town. They are more afraid than [we are],” said a Myawaddy Township resident.

The 200 troops who’ve fled are believed to be hiding near the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge waiting to be allowed to enter Thailand. The Thai military has stepped up security along its 2,401 km-long border with Myanmar to stop the violence from spilling over into Thailand.

The KNLA captured the military outpost in Thingannyinaung village, 10 km west of Myawaddy, on April 5. The KNU claimed that 410 soldiers and 67 officers surrendered there last Friday. A total of 617 military personnel, including family members, have surrendered to the KNU since fighting began in March.

KNLA-led forces launched its attack on LIB 275 in Myawaddy town on April 8. It captured the outpost, seizing a large number of weapons and ammunition, on April 11.


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