Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thai Army protest over Burmese Army's shelling

by Usa Pichai

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - The Thai Army has lodged a protest with the Burmese Army over Burmese soldiers firing a mortar into a village in Tak Province of Thailand.

Colonel Phadung Yingpaiboonsuk, the commander of the 4th Infantry Division of the Thai Army and representatives from Thailand of the Thailand-Burma Border Committee in Maesot in the Tak Province border with Myawaddy township of Burma, has submitted a complaint to Major Colonel Thun Lin Aung, the commander of 275th Infantry Division of the Burmese Army protesting against the incident where two Thai soldiers were injured.

The two Thai soldiers are Mag Lanang and Kampanat Ruathongfoo. Both are privates who were on duty in Phadee Village in Pobphra district, close to Maesot when they sustained injures on April 27. A Thai villager, Pha Seu was also injured. Their condition, however, is not serious.

About 200 villagers from Phadee village were temporality sheltered in Roum Thai Wattanaram Monastery to ensure their security, according to a report in the Thailand Public Relation Department website.

Earlier, the Thai Army had submitted a similar complaint to the Burmese Army on April 11 when a mortar fell in Thai territory but so far there is no response from the Burmese Army regarding the incident.

Besides, the Tak Governor, Komsan Ekkachai warned Thai villagers to avoid the battle zone.

The incident occurred following the fighting between the Burmese Army and its ally, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army with the Karen National Liberation Army. These skirmishes always take place in dry season.

The Burmese Army and DKBA have lost a total of 10 soldiers in their bid to capture a Karen National Liberation Army base camp while the KNLA lost two soldiers, including Colonel Saw Jay and had to contend with three soldiers injured in the past 16 days.

The Burmese troops suffered almost 40 casualties, because of landmines and booby traps planted by the KNLA in the past two weeks during which they laid siege to the camp, known as Wah Lay Kee. The base is home to the sixth brigade’s 201st battalion and is about an hour’s drive south of Mae Sot. Wah Lay Kee was lost for a couple of days at the end of June last year, but reclaimed quickly. It has been lost once again this time.

The Burmese Army has burnt down several buildings of the Wah Lay Kee camp after they captured the base.

Thailand’s 3rd Army has positioned its troops along the border for security reasons. The situation of refugee from Burma is not known.

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