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Media Release
November 6, 1998


Burmese elite troops shot four villagers to death in Pegu (Bago)
Division in Burma on suspicion of having contact with the Karen
National Union (KNU), according to sources from the town of

On October 22, 1998, the elite troops led by deputy commander of
the unit, Captain Kyan Puu, found the four villagers in a field
near the village of Htwanigone.  Saw Leyhe (45 years), Saw Sarbwe
(23 years), Saw Maung Nyunt Poe (27 years) and Saw Poe Saw Ke (20
years) were immediately killed.  All four were Karens.

At the beginning of 1998, Infantry Regiments under the command of
Burma's Southern Region Military Command - Infantry 48, 53, 59,
60 and 73, and Light Infantry 351 - formed a special elite unit
comprising 60 soldiers. They were given the task of carrying out
programs designed to discourage public support of the KNU.  

All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) Foreign Affairs
Secretary, Aung Naing Oo, said that human rights abuses committed
by Burmese troops in the area are rampant.

"The military junta has failed to negotiate a cease-fire
agreement with the KNU. Karen civilians have therefore become
prime targets for the Burmese military in the belief that
civilian pressure will force the KNU to hold talks with the

The elite unit has carried out a number of attacks in the region.
On October 4, when the troops were unable to locate two
villagers, U Soe and U Tin Win, the commander of the unit,
Captain Maung Maung Oo, responded by setting fire to the houses
of the two. Ironically, U Soe and U Tin Win are the Chairman and
Secretary of the Thitchaseik village Peace and Development

On 14 October the troops also fired a 79-mm grenade launcher into
local villages, killing 13 year-old Naw Milay and eight year-old
Naw Dada from the village of Tinepin.  In a further attack on
October 16 soldiers from the same unit set fire to huts and
houses located between Wegyi and Luu Ahywa villages. The purpose
of destroying the houses, according to local villagers, was to
deny shelter to KNU guerrillas.  

Kyaukgyi is a township situated in Pegu Division, bordering Karen

All Burma Students' Democratic Front

For more information please contact 01-253 9082, 01-654 4984