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Burma Army Attacks Kill 19 Villagers and Displace More than 15,000 in July as Campaign of Terror Continues in Kler Lwe Htoo District, Karen State, Burma

September 5th, 2022  •  Author:   Free Burma Rangers  •  10 minute read
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5 September 2022

Karen State, Burma

Kler Lwe Htoo District, Karen State, Burma:

At least 19 people were killed and 15 more wounded in the month of July as the Burma Army continued a campaign of terror against its own people. In the first week of July, villagers discovered the bodies of an additional five people who had been killed one month before and their bodies thrown in the river. Burma Army airstrikes killed at least three villagers, while others were captured and shot on the spot. Burma Army soldiers captured at least two villagers and tortured them before killing them. Burma Army soldiers burned the villages of Law Mu Per and Ka Nyi Jo. Tens of thousands villagers have fled their homes and are hiding wherever they feel is safer; most of these are struggling to survive in the jungle in the middle of monsoon season. The Burma Army units responsible for many of these attacks are: Division 77, Light Infantry Battalions (LIBs) 599, 351, and 20, and Infantry Battalions (IBs) 60 and 57.

The FBR teams in the area, working together with the local Karen National Union (KNU) leaders, continue to provide food, shelter, mosquito nets, and medical care to the villagers chased from their homes and hiding in the jungle.

Children who fled from Sa Le Village, in their hiding place in the jungle.

Thank you so much for your care for these people. Please pray with us that the hearts of their enemy would change, or that the enemy would be defeated. Pray for comfort, hope, strength and peace for our friends in this small part of Karen State, and all over Burma, who are struggling not just for their lives but for freedom and their future.

Below is a daily log of Burma Army and IDP activity from our team in the field as well as pictures of the situation.

Thank you and God bless you,

Free Burma Rangers

Warning: Graphic images below which some viewers may find disturbing.

Free Burma Rangers provide medical care for IDPs.

Log of Daily Activity:

29 June: Villagers discover the body of a man the Burma Army killed and then buried, from In-Net Village.

Body of villager killed and buried by Burma Army.

30 June: Fighting continued in Ler Doh Township. There were two clashes: one in the Sa Le Village area and another at Lin Bin Wei Village. This continued fighting is causing more and more people to be displaced, day by day. From Lin Ben Wei, 231 families comprising 1,185 people have been displaced and we don’t yet have a count of those who have fled Sa Le Village.

1 July: This morning the Burma Army attacked again at Sa Le Village. Now some of the Karen National Union (KNU) leaders are staying with the displaced villagers. At the moment, we know of six civilians wounded. There are reports of two civilians killed and we have seen the body of one. There are still two missing. As of 1 July, Sa Le Village has 129 families (670 people) hiding in the jungle.

IDPs from Sa Le Village.

2 July, morning: The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) No. 8 Battalion combined troops with battalions 7 and 9 and seized one Burma Army camp at Kyaw Bya, close to Maw Lay. There are 228 families, with 1088 people, from the Kyaw Bta area hiding in the jungle near Maw Lay.

The Burma Army burnt down Ka Nyi Jo houses.

One troop of Burma Army soldiers arrived at Law Mu Per Village and opened fire on a Ranger who was there but he escaped and is ok. At the same time, one villager was shot dead on the spot. His name is Saw Ma Nay Htoo, 25 years old, and he was from Law Mu Thaw Village. His occupation was motorbike workshop keeper.

Also, during the attack on the Law Mu Per Village, the Burma Army shot and killed two other villagers and wounded one. Two members of the Civil Defense Movement were also killed. The Burma Army soldiers went on to burn down 15 houses and 13 motorbikes and one truck in Ler Mu Plaw Village.

Houses from Law Mu Per Village, burned down by the Burma Army.

Law Mu Per villagers, killed by the Burma Army as they overran the village.

The Internally Displaced People in Mone Township as of 2 July 2022:

Village Number of Families Number of People
1 Aw Law Se 110 569
2 Ta Kaut Pwa 412 2,254
3 Nge Pyaw Daw 62 421
4 Wa Doh Klah 27 203
5 Sha Linn Suu 66 416
6 Wei Swae 159 1,018
7 Hau Hta Plaw 73 335
8 Se Pa Lae 44 216
9 Sa Boo Daw 33 209
10 Ko Nee 91 482
11 Kyaw Bya 228 1,088
12 Htee Toe Lo 498 2,454
13 Nge Laut Te 51 307
14 Kyo Bin Seik 393 1,821
15 Ka Hsaw Law Bler 15 120
16 Noh Shae 76 438
17 Yin Ka 32 174
18 Thein Nya U Toh Lo 16 101
19 Noh Nya La 89 806
20 Pa Na Wah Plaw 32 134
21 Noh Ko Htee 18 91
TOTAL 2,525 13,657

There are other villages that have fled but we do not have the names and the numbers yet. This is the information we have now and will continue to track.

Villagers from Mone Township trying to find a safe place until they can return home.

In the night of 2 July, 10 Burma Army trucks full of soldiers arrived at the base at Aww Law Sein as reinforcements. The villagers there are under constant threat of being captured and tortured; if they run, they will be shot.

Our team was able to confirm that the combined troops who burned down Law Mu Per Village were from Light Infantry battalions (LIBs) 351 and 349, and Infantry Battalion (IB) 60; the total force size was 120 soldiers and was led by Lt. Col. Zin Ya Linn.

3 July: Fighting continued. A Burma Army fighter jet fired into the Kyaw Bya area two times at around 16:09. Three villagers were killed and two wounded by this air strike.

This afternoon the Burma Army captured a community leader at Kyo Bin Seik; they tortured him by beating him with a hammer until he died. His name was Saw Lah Ka Paw, he was 41 years old. His wife is Naw Nya Htoo; the have four children and are from Shan Lin Suu Village, Mone Township in the plains area. He was captured while trying to help the IDPs to get food. The Burma Army soldiers who captured him are from LIB 351 and combined with the Pyu Saw Htee.

On the same afternoon, the Burma Army released one Aww Law Se villager they had captured on 1 July. He had been captured together with one other man; the soldiers had tortured both of them over the three days they were held. The other man died of the torture.

4 July: In Mone Township, Kyaw Bya Village, the Burma Army captured and killed four villagers. Their names are: Win Ko, Aung Neing Soe, Kwah Wein, and Poe Htoo.
5 July: In Mone Township this morning, the Burma Army attacked at Maw Lay, pushing the IDPs deeper into the jungle. Some Kyaw Bya villagers did not get away, but were captured at Maw Lay.

6 July: The Burma Army sent 15 men to reinforce Toe Ta Dah camp. Also, at 7:30 in the morning, Burma Army soldiers shot at Kya Plaw villagers in the Tee Ta Kwee area and captured one villager named Saw Chit Twein while he plowed his field. His father is Saw Toe Toe. He is 49 years old and lives in Ya Myo Aung.

7 July: Burma Army Division 77 has reinforced in both Mone and Ler Doh township areas. The situation is getting worse so that all the people in the plains area are now living in unstable conditions. On the road from Mone to Kyauk Kyi, the Div 77 soldiers are rebuilding bridges and the road from Na Tha Gwein to Kyauk Kyi. They are also making positions along both roads and have set up 120mm mortars, 130mm long-range mortars and one drone.

The regional troops have combined with Div 77. Starting today, the Burma Army is not allowing the people to bring rice and gas from town to Pa Dae Gow area.

The FBR team giving medical care and mosquito nets to villagers in hiding.

11 July: Burma Army LIB 599 and IB 60, together with Div 77 and others units, combined to form a troop size of over 100 and reentered In-net Village. They found it defended and in the ensuing battle, 20 Burma Army soldiers were killed and over ten wounded; one LIB 599 battalion commander died later.

The Burma Army troops continued to Ma Taw Gu and the people fled, causing the number of IDPs to increase. The Burma Army used 81mm long-range mortars and machine guns to shoot and shell the area before they entered, hoping to clear it of opposition. Still, some Burma Army soldiers fled the battle.

14 July: Troops from Burma Army LIB 599 captured and killed one villager from Thaung Bu Village. His name was Saw Pla Buu and he was 27 years old; his father is Saw Pres Sa Le.

15 July: The same troops captured, shot and killed two more villagers from Lin Bin Village: Maung Kyaw Hein, 50 years old – his father is U Tin Hswe; U Tin Bo, 70 years old, was also shot and killed. His father is U Sa Yin.

16 July: More villagers fled today, from Noh Gaw, Lin Bin, Pae Thaung and Wet La Daw.

Village Number of Families Number of People
1 Wet La Daw 200 1,080
2 Noh Gaw 90 505
3 Teat Pauk 29 155
4 Taw Koh 67 392
5 Pa Aww Taw 68 380
6 Lin Bin 85 433
7 Wei Daw Koh 186 986
8 Thaung Bu 49 222
9 Taw Kyaw Pauk 143 767
10 Pae Thaung 208 1,098
TOTAL 1,125 6,018

Half of these people are with our FBR Kler Lwe Htoo District team, while others have fled to different areas and some have crossed to the west of the Sittaung River.

The combined troops attacking these people and pushing them from their homes are Division 77, LIBs 599, 351, and 20, and IBs 60 and 57.

19 July: In the Hsaw Hti plains area on the border of Ler Doh Township, the Aww Pa Lah villagers started fleeing and fled to the west side of the Sittaung River.

19 July: Villagers from Ya Myo Aung Village found three dead bodies in the river nearby. At the time of discovery, the bodies were unrecognizable. However, on 6 June, the Burma Army had captured five Ya Myo Aung villagers, who had not been seen again. The villagers assumed they had been killed and that the three bodies found were from that group. The names of the five people are Saw Hin htun, Saw Kya Aye, Saw Eh Moo Htoo, Saw Tin Hswe, and Saw K’lu Koh Doh.

21 July: Three Burma Army soldiers harassed the motor bike owners on the road and searched the bike. They also blocked all gasoline and fuel transport from town to Bawgata.

26-27 July: There were sustained battles between the Burma Army and KNLA in the Natha Gwein area of Ler Doh Township and the Tha Htay Goe area of Mone Township.

28 July: Burma Army soldiers from LIB 439 captured a man from Kyaw Bya Village, Ya Gon Thah; they slashed his face and accused him of giving information to the KNLA. They later released him.

29 July: In Ler Doh Township, at 0915, a Burma Army jet bombed and shot down at a Thaw Tu Day area CDM base. They dropped three bombs and wounded four people.

In the Mone Township plains area, at around 2300-2400 hours, soldiers from Burma Army LIB 599, stationed at Toe Daw camp, fired two 130mm mortars into Thay Nya U Toe Lo; at the same time, LIB 590 from Yin Oh Sein camp fired two 120 mm into Se Bin Tha Village and one into Wei Swae Village.

Thank you and God bless,

Free Burma Rangers

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