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A skirmish occurs between NMSP and Karen armed group over detention of Mon villagers

A Karen armed group and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) clashed in the NMSP-controlled area after the Karen armed group detained Mon villagers in Yebyu Township, Tanintharyi Region on Sunday (March 4) morning.

The clash broke out in the area around Phayar-Taung, which is in the east of Ah-le-sa-khan Village in Yebyu Township.

“A Karen armed group detained the people who came back from working in the plantation and those that work outside the village. We are monitoring the situation because we are worried over the villagers being harmed. A skirmish broke out for 30 minutes when we went to clear them this morning,” an official from the NMSP said on condition of anonymity.

NMSP troops making rounds in the forest area (Photo – NMSP)

The NMSP official told the Mon News Agency that the skirmish took place around 8:30 am on Sunday after the Karen armed group detained 27 plantation workers who were returning to their village on Saturday evening.

A bullet grazed the left malleolus of the NMSP’s auxiliary soldier during the skirmish but his condition is not serious. All the detained villagers have been released in the afternoon, according to the NMSP.

The NMSP was unable to contact the Karen National Union (KNU) liaison office in Dawei to inquire about this issue.

The New Mon State News Bulletin reported that the NMSP arrested a worker and seized one M-79 arm and AK-47 rifle when it went to clear a Kayin armed illegal logging gang led by Phoe Ti in Kamar Chaung Hpyar in Yebyu Township on February 24.

The NMSP also detained an illegal logging gang and seized machines and elephants used in logging and handed 32 Karen loggers to the KNU in January.

Logging has been banned in the NMSP-controlled areas ever since the areas were marked in line with the agreements with the government in 1995 and 2012.

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