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Press Release: Attacks on Karen Re

Subject: Press Release:  Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps

Karen Refugee Committee
P.O.Box. 5, Mae Sot, Tak 63110, Thailand
Tel: ( 66-55-532947 )
Fax. ( 66-55-546869

Press Release:-
January 29, 1997

Burmese Intruders Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps

* On January 4, at 4:30 pm, 60mm motar shells were lobbed into the Sho
Klo Refugee Camp (Pop; 7,286) which is about 20 km North of Tha Song
Yang town from across the border inside Burma. Four refugees were
wounded in the attack, one who seriously wounded later succumbed to the
injury at the hospital.

* On January 28, at about 10:15 pm, not less than 100 Burmese intruders
entered Wang Ka Refugee Camp ( Pop; 6,729 ), which is about 10 km North
of Mae Sot town and put the houses to the torch. About 80 % of the
buildings ( more than 1,000) in the camp, was burnt down. Reportedly,
the attackers looted the shops and refugees? valuables before torching
the buildings. The attackers fired their guns to frighten the refugees
who tried to save their belongings. As result, those who had been
directly affected lost most of their belongings.

* According to some reports, the attackers were in full combat uniforms.
Some wore camouflage paint and spoke in Burmese. Fortunately, there were
no casualties as a result of the attack.
* Simultaneously, the Burmese intruders launched an attack on Don Pa
Kiang Refugee Camp ( Pop; 3,827 ), which is about 19 km North of Mae Sot
town. The number of attackers was said to be about 50 and in civilian
clothes. Like in Wang Ka Refugee Camp, the attackers looted the shops
and the refugees? valuables before torching the building. About 80% of
the building ( more than 600 ) in the camp was reduced to ashes.

* At this camp, a Thai shop keeper who was trying to get away in his
pick-up truck was shot to death by the Burmese attackers.

* Mae La Refugee Camp ( Pop; 25,322), which is about 28 km South of Tha
Song Yang town came under attack at about 6:00 am, on January 29. The
Burmese attackers ran into Thai militia forces outside the camp
perimeter, and a skirmish broke out, lasting for about one and a half
hour. However, the attackers succeeded in burning down 15 houses.

* An 80-year old woman died instantly of shrapnel wounds and a 30 year
old man suffering from malaria died as a result of exhaustion and shock
after fleeing from the MSF hospital in the camp. A girl and an adult
woman with shrapnel wounds have to be hospitalized.

 The refugees of all the three camps that came under the attack are in
panic. Most of the people from Wang Ka, Don Pa Kiang as well as Mae La,
have fled to places which they assume to be more secure.

More information contact to:  Australia Karen Organization:

Sydney: Mahn Olson Tel: (02) 96714738 , Saw Lwin Oo Tel & Fax - (02)
Melbone: Saw Ganemy Tel - (03) 93975320
Perth : Raymond Thaung Tel: 09- 3421772,  Fax: 09-227 1117