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   MAE HONG SON, Thailand, May 14 Reuter - Hundreds of ethnic Shan 
refugees have fled forced relocation by Burmese armed forces acting 
to cut civilian support for anti-Rangoon guerrillas, refugees and 
Shan politicians said today.
	   The refugees, who slipped out from Burma's northeastern Shan 
state to this border town, said they were forced to relocate after 
heavy fighting broke out in March between remnants of the now 
defunct Mong Tai Army (MTA) and Burmese forces.
	   The 20,000-strong MTA was formerly led by drug warlord Khun Sa, 
a half-Shan, half-Chinese rebel leader who portrayed himself as a 
Shan freedom fighter for more than two decades.
	   Khun Sa surrendered to Burmese troops on January 3 but some of 
his former MTA followers held out.
	   The Shan rebels are fighting for independence from Burma.
	   "There was a lot of fighting there," said U Thieng Aung, 35, who 
trekked for about a week through forests with five members of his 
family to Thailand.
	   Hundreds of ethnic Shans who live in rural areas in the state 
had either escaped to the jungles or to the Thai-Burma border after 
Burmese soldiers forced them to move from their villages and 
closely monitored their movements.
	   "The Burmese soldiers said they wanted to isolate the people 
from the guerrillas because the villagers support the rebels," 
Thieng Aung told Reuters.
	   Veteran Shan guerrilla Khun Htaw Hta said heavy fighting was 
continuing between Burmese forces and a splinter group from the 
defunct MTA led by Kan Yord which had merged with another rebel 
group, the Shan State Army.
	   "The new organisation named Shan State Peace Keeping Council 
(SSPC) with 5,000 armed guerrillas has been causing a lot of 
trouble for Burmese troops," he said, adding that casualty figures 
were not available.
	   Kan Yord, a Shan nationalist and former MTA officer who had 
accused Khun Sa of heavy involvement in heroin trafficking, staged 
a revolt against the warlord and broke away from the MTA with 
thousands of other guerrillas before Khun Sa surrendered to Burma's 
military government.
	   Khun Sa was indicted by a US court in December 1989 on heroin 
trafficking charges. Washington demands Rangoon hand over Khun Sa 
to the United States and has offered a $US2 million ($A2.5 million) 
reward for his capture.
	   Burma has refused to repatriate Khun Sa, who is said to be 
living a luxurious life in Rangoon.
	   REUTER gr