Ethnic Karen guerrillas said that they captured a Myanmar army base on Tuesday near the border with Thailand, representing a morale-boosting action for those opposing the military’s takeover of the country’s civilian government in February.
Myanmar’s military conducted airstrikes several hours later on villages in territory controlled by the Karen forces, said a guerrilla spokesman, a senior Thai official, and a relief worker.
A spokesman for the Karen National Union (KNU), the minority’s main political group seeking greater autonomy from Myanmar’s central government, said its armed wing attacked the base at 5 am and burned it down just after dawn. The number of casualties is not known yet, the KNU’s head of foreign affairs, Padoh Saw Taw Nee, said in a text message.
The KNU, which controls territory in eastern Myanmar near the Thai border, is a close ally of the resistance movement against the military takeover that expelled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Its armed wing is called the Karen National Liberation Army.