Apr 11, 2006 (DVB) - Burma’s military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) troops have been carrying out offensives against Karen villages and driving out their inhabitants at Taungoo and Nyaunglebin Districts in eastern central Burma, according to the Karen National Union (KNU). The ‘clearing’ activities have been carried out reportedly for the security of the country’s new administrative capital in nearby Pyinmana District and the soldiers are committing extra-judicial killings, rape, looting and the destructions of homes and farms in the process, causing Karen villagers to flee their homes, said KNU spokesman David Takabaw. “They launch artillery shells into the villages. After the villagers are gone, they mine the villages. They do not allow them to go to the farms or paddy fields. They block them thus. Then, some people who are under suspicion are beaten up and tortured to death…(five) suspects are lined up and shot dead…in Taungoo District. It happened in Taungoo District at Shazipho area.” The clearing of Karen villages is being carried out not only for the security of the new capital, but also for the strategic control of Mawchi area in nearby Karenni (Kayah) State which is rumoured to harbour deposits of uranium and tungsten ores, according to Takabaw.See also "Burmese regime steps up bloody crackdown around new capital" at AsiaNews.it
Colonel Nerdah Mya, spokesman of the Karen National Union, said the army had killed more than 100 ethnic Karen people. They also forced thousands of people to flee their homes and burned villages and crops. He said: “The military junta moved thousands of troops from Rangoon (Yangon) to the new capital Pyinmana. They kill, they rape, they loot, and they burn everything, so people have to flee. If you are Karen, they will attack you. They are pushing the Karen out of Burma.”Follow all this news at Free Burma Rangers.
“Villagers have been captured, shot, killed and beheaded in Western Karen State, Toungoo district, resulting in over 2,000 in hiding and 1,000 who have already fled to the Thailand,” added the Free Burma Rangers, a volunteer group supporting the Karen. The group has published an article to denounce the army action on the internet, complete with photos.