Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pa.O rebels wipe-out Junta patrol

By Khun Aung Kham

(SHAN) -A Burma Army patrol was ambushed by a joint Pa.O National Liberation Army (PNLA) – Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) force on 3 May near Wanyen (Banyen) village, Hsihseng Township, 57 miles south of Taunggyi. The following are excerpts from an interview conducted with Col Khun Thurein, Commander of PNLA.

SHAN : We heard that there was a clash near Wanyen village which Pa.O National Liberation Army (PNLA) together with Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) fought against SPDC’s troops, on Sunday. It’s that true?
Khun Thurein : Yes, the clash took place, between our troops (PNLA) led by Lieutenant Colonel Khun Kyaw Htin and Major Khun San Yu together with KNLA and the SPDC troops. It started at 10:00 and lasted about 20 minutes.

SHAN : What did casualties report say?
Khun Thurein : All 12 SPDC soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Myo Min Htun were killed, but as we were ambushing them from vantage points, there were no losses on our side.

SHAN : How many guns and other weapons did you capture?
Khun Thurein : We got 13 assorted weapons, 1 60 mm mortar, 1 machine gun, 1 RPG 9, 8 MA 1/ 2/ 3/ 4 rifles, 2 pistols and 3 communications equipment.

SHAN : How about the situation around the Wanyen village after the clash? Are they still continuing human rights violations such as beating and questioning villagers?
Khun Thurein : The area commander Myint Naing went and inspected the situation around Wanyen and brought 5 battalions with him in order to chase us. They were LIBs 426, 425, 424, 423 and 427 from Loikaw Township, Kayah State. And they did interrogate the villagers to make sure that there were no rebels is in the village.

SHAN : Why did KNLA decide to join with the PNLA to attack SPDC’s troops in Wanyen? Do the two sides have prior agreement with each other?
Khun Turein : We are allies, not only with KNLA but also other groups such as Shan State Army (SSA) South and Karen National Progressive Party (KNPP). We have common aim to protect our people and bring down the dictatorship. If the SPDC is still committing human rights violations we may attack them not only in the countryside but also in the cities, too.

SHAN : May I know who led the KNLA and their strength during the combat?
Khun Turein : Sorry, this question concerns our security. So we can’t tell you their names and strength.

SHAN : Do you have anything that you would like to add?
Khun Turein : We are fighting in order to bring down the military dictatorship, not against Burmese people. We will follow the aims stated in our statements. We will keep on fighting until the people in Burma achieve genuine democracy and our Pa.O people obtain their genuine rights. We will oppose the generals’ 2010 election in every way possible.

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