By Violet Cho
Fighting between the Burmese army and the Karen National Liberation Army broke out on Sunday about 10 km south of Mae Sot near the Thai-Burmese border in Thailand's Tak Province, according to leaders of the Karen National Union.
KNU General Secretary Mahn Sha told The Irrawaddy on Monday that "the clash between the Burmese army and a special battalion from KNU's 6th Brigade lasted for about a half-hour."
There were no serious casualties on either side, said Shee Lay, a member of the KNU's Central Committee. "Currently, the Burmese government has increased their [forces] in KNU territory and has shelled KNU positions daily. I believe there will be more fighting in the coming days," Shee Lay said.
Mahn Sha said that clashes between the Karen rebels and the Tatmadaw [Armed Forces] happen nearly every day, particularly in northern Karen State.
He added that the fighting on Sunday sent about 200 villagers towards the Thailand-Burma border to seek shelter at Ei Tu Hta, a makeshift refugee camp across from Thailand's Mae Hong Son Province.
"Ongoing fighting between the KNU and the Burmese army will push more people to come to the camp," said a member of the Karen Refugee Committee in Mae Hong Son.
Attacks by the Burmese army have displaced as many as 27,000 Karen civilians since November 2006, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.