Bangkok Desk, May 7 (EFE).- Rebel guerrillas in eastern Myanmar seized a military base on Friday amid increased fighting between the army and ethnic armed groups.
It is the second time the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) has taken over a Burmese army post in the last 10 days.
The attack came days after the army, which seized power in a coup on February 1, suffered several casualties in clashes with two so-called Northern Alliance guerrillas in northeastern Shan state.
The KNLA guerrillas on Friday occupied the Myanmar army base of Eu Thu Hta in Kayin state, on to the Thai border, and seized ammunition, including mortar shells, in an offensive aided by the Arakan Army (AA), according to local media outlet, the Irrawaddy.
A video circulating in Myanmar media shows several huts burning at the base, which had just been abandoned.
Since March 27, the KNLA has seized at least three military bases from the Myanmar army, which has responded with air strikes and bombings against the guerrillas and Karen civilians, causing at least 19 deaths and more than 40,000 displaced persons.
Many of these displaced people are hiding in jungle areas with little to no food or medicine, while Thai authorities, who initially sent Karen refugees back to Burma, say they have taken in more than 2,267 in recent weeks.
Several ethnic minority guerrillas, who represent a third of Burma’s 53 million people, have been involved in armed struggle for decades to demand greater autonomy or independence. Some have expressed support for the ongoing civil disobedience movement against the military junta.
Since the military uprising, clashes between Burmese soldiers and ethnic armed groups have been on the rise, as security forces continue their bloody crack down on anti-coup civilian protests.
According to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP), the Myanmar military junta has killed 772 civilians, including at least 43 minors, and has arrested more than 3,700 people, including deposed government leader Aung San Suu Kyi. EFE