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Reuters-Myanmar rebels warn against

Subject: Reuters-Myanmar rebels warn against cross-border car rally 

Myanmar rebels warn against cross-border car rally
07:57 a.m. Apr 29, 1999 Eastern
BANGKOK, April 29 (Reuters) - Karen ethnic guerrillas have warned organisers
of a motor expedition through Myanmar against travelling through territory
in which they operate.

A spokesman for the Karen National Union, which has fought the Myanmar
government for 50 years, said the expedition would cross a ``war zone''
between the Thai border and the Myanmar capital, Yangon.

``One possibility is that stationing of more troops along the route could
attract attacks from the Karen resistance, who could disrupt movements on
motor roads in the area at any time,'' spokesman David Tharekabaw said in a

``Therefore the expedition passing through the area, which in reality is a
war zone, would be extremely hazardous and thus inadvisable,'' said the
statement obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

``In conclusion, I would like to suggest that the expedition fly to Rangoon
(Yangon) in order to bypass the part where the security for members of the
expedition is very unpredictable.''

Myanmar's border has been closed to regular travel by car for decades. The
expedition plans to cross from Thailand into Myanmar at the town of
Myawaddi, where visitors are limited to daytrips.

The Karen statement was addressed with ``best regards'' to the Malaysian
organiser of the rally, Douglas Choong of the Royal Perak Motor Club in the
city of Ipoh.

Choong could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Second ASEAN Friendship Overland Expedition is due to set off from Ipoh
in northern Malaysia on May 10 and drive through Thailand, around Myanmar
and back to Ipoh by May 29