Burmese Troops Overrun Rebel Camp

BURMESE soldiers have overrun an important ethnic rebel base and trading post near the Thai border after several days of fierce fighting, an insurgent spokesman said yesterday.

More than 1,000 Burmese troops launched attacks last week against Maw Pha Su camp, a key outpost of the Karen National Union (KNU) opposite Thailand's Tak province, 230 miles northwest of Bangkok.

The fighting earlier forced several hundred villagers to flee across the border into Thailand.

Burmese troops have attacked not only rebel bases along the border but also, last Tuesday, a village of Karen civilians, killing 20 villagers and wounding 60 others, the spokesman said.

In April, the government promised suspension of military operations against rebel groups so as to seek national reconciliation and unity. Burmese Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw repeated the assurance in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Commenting on the government's cease-fire declarations, the KNU spokesman said, "The government usually stops offensives in the rainy season, and they have tricked the outside world for their survival."

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