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Burma’s Regime Escalates Attacks against Karen Villagers, Destroys Mobile Health Clinic, Schools, Villages, Forcing Thousands to Flee (click to view PDF)

U.S. Campaign for Burma- Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 10th, 2010
Contact: Jennifer Quigley (732) 606-7508

(Washington, DC and Bangkok) While Burma’s military regime has been trying to disarm ethnic ceasefire groups at the China-Burma border with its so-called “Border Guard Force” plan, its soldiers have escalated military offensives against ethnic Karen people in eastern Burma this week, destroying not only villages but also a vital mobile health clinic, that sent thousands of villagers and health workers fleeing for their lives.

At 9:00 am on February 8, 2010, 200 soldiers of the regime (from Light Infantry Battalions No. 362 and 367, under No. 10 Military Operational Command) attacked Tee Mu Ta Village in Nyang Lay Bin District, destroying a mobile health clinic and 38 homes of internally displaced families. Following this, at 6:00 pm on the same day, the regime soldiers continued on to K’Dee Mu Dervillage and burned the village of 15 homes, a middle school, and a nursery school. In total, because of these attacks, 50 families from Tee Mu Ta and 30 families from K’Dee Mu Der villages have been forced to flee and are now hiding in the jungle. Both villages are approximately 100 kilometers from the Thailand-Burma border, the equivalent of a 4-5 day journey by foot across hilly terrain (see attached map).

These attacks follow the previously reported attacks last month on ten villages in Nyang Lay Bin District by Burmese soldiers, in which 4 villagers were shot, one decapitated, sending at least 2000 villagers into hiding.

Denial and destruction of health services provided by back-packed health workers, is a key component to the military regime’s ethnic cleansing campaign. For years, humanitarian aid organizations have been denied access to ethnic minority areas of Burma and community-based health workers are routinely targeted by the regime soldiers. Aung Din, Executive Director of the U.S. Campaign for Burma said: “Mobile health clinics are always targeted by the regime’s troops because they provide life-saving services to Karen and other ethnic minority villagers, who are under continuous and inhumane attack by the regime. This is a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and the principal of medical neutrality, further evidence of the regime’s crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

Although the clinic was burned to the ground by the regime soldiers, clinic staff, in hiding with the displaced villagers, is courageously continuing to provide essential services, which include malaria control, treatment to landmine victims, and clean delivery. In addition to essential medical services, the attack has disrupted the clinic’s village health worker program, malaria control program, reproductive health program, and vitamin A and deworming program for the community. These brave health workers and villagers continue to be at risk of further attacks by the Burmese army. Aung Din states: “These attacks are further evidence of the urgent need for the United Nations to take effective action to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma, perpetrated by the regime with impunity.”

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• FBR REPORT: Photos of Families Fleeing, Burma Army, and a Villager Killed (1 February, 
2010)
• FBR REPORT: Photos from One of the Areas (Kweh Der, Ler Doh) Attacked by Burma 
Army (29 January, 2010)
• FBR REPORT: Update of Burma Army attacks, murders, displacements and forced labor in 
Karen state (21 January, 2010)

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