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NCUB PRESS RELEASE NO 
N A T I O N A L C O U N C I L O F T H E U N I O N O F B U R M A
Press Release No 
SITUATION IN KNU BRIGADE  AREA
FOLLOWING SLORC'S OFFENSIVE
Date: February 27, 1997
Mid-day, February 27 -- Troops from the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) continue to defend Htee Kee village, near the KNLA Brigade 4 Headquarters. They have so far prevented SLORC troops from ent
ering the village. Since last night, there have been exchanges of heavy weapons fire between the two sides around Htee Kee village.
At 5:00 p.m. yesterday, SLORC troops arrived at Alal Store village, midway between Htee Kee and Htee Htar villages. The SLORC soldiers then shelled Htee Kee village before advancing toward it.
Last night, SLORC troops tried to enter Htee Kee by relying on their superiority in numbers and in firing power. Several rounds of 81-mm mortar and M-79 grenade launchers were fired in the attack.
Meanwhile, sources in Brigade 4 area say there has been a sudden increase in the number of refugees coming out of Burma into Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi Provinces of Thailand. Refugee count in Brigade 4 area was 7,000 on February 26 but the number increas
ed to 23,000 today. Sources say more refugees are expected to cross the border in the coming days.
Yesterday, over 900 women and children from Bong Htee were separated from the men and sent to Amphoe Suan Phang of Ratchaburi province by Thai authorities. The refugees were later sent back to Htaw Ma Phyo and Htaw Ma Maung villages on the Burma side oppo
site Ta Ko Luang village, Amphoe Suan Phang of Ratchaburi Province. A total of 230 men who tried to enter Thai territory were pushed back to Phu Nam Luang village. At last report, there were no more refugees left in Bong Htee.
Thai authorities are expected to evacuate refugees from Phu Nam Luang village to Htaw Ma Pyo and Htaw Ma Maung villages on the Burma side soon.
Today, over 3,000 refugees are stranded in Ban Phu Nam Laung. Ban Phu Nam Luang is a Thai village abandoned by the villagers when the fighting became fierce.
The National Council of the Union of Burma has expressed deep concern about the condition of the refugees as they are now in a high risk area, caught between SLORC and Thai troops.
The NCUB has appealed to the international community and the Royal Thai Government to help set up a secure environment for the refugees in accordance with international laws and internationally-accepted humanitarian standards.
Information Committee, NCUB