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BKK POST: 980504: Large arms cach (r)

May 4, 1998


                               TAK BORDER

              Large arms cache

              Believed to belong to Karen rebels

              Supamart Kasem 

              Acache of war weapons, including rocket launchers, believed to
              belong to Karen National Union rebels, was seized in a border
              village of Tha Song Yang district on Saturday.

              The Naresuan Task Force's border patrol police confiscated the
              large quantity of arms and ammunition hidden in Ban Mae Wei,
              Tambon Tha Song Yang. 

              The weapons, including rocket launchers, a mortar, three AK-47
              assault rifles, an M-16 assault rifle and more than 23,000 rounds
              of machinegun ammunitions, were found wrapped in plastic
              sheets and buried.

              Maj-Gen Chalor Thongsala, commander of the Naresuan Task
              Force, believed the seized weapons belonged to forces loyal to
              former KNU's central committee chairman and Forestry Minister
              Padoh Aung San. The rebels had reportedly capitulated to
              Burma's State Peace and Development Council early last month
              and part of their weapons, which were seized by Thai authorities,
              were prepared to be sent to Rangoon.

              Padoh Aung San's forces sought refuge in Ban Mae Wei after
              their stronghold in Htee Ter Khi town, opposite Tha Song Yang
              district, was heavily shelled by Burmese troops and
              pro-Rangoon Democratic Karen Buddhist Army forces in
              January 1995, according to sources.

              Thai authorities yesterday lifted a ban on the import and export
              of goods in four border districts after the situation along the
              Thai-Burmese border returned to normal.

              Maj-Gen Chalor said he has arranged his troops and officials to
              facilitate the transport of goods and people in Tha Song Yang,
              Mae Ramat, Phop Phra and Umphang districts after the ban was

              "Now, the border situation returns to normal. Traders can
              resume their trading and tourists are also allowed to travel freely
              in these border districts," said Maj-Gen Chalor.


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Last Modified: Mon, May 4, 1998