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Burma army burns more than 70 houses of Karen people

More than 70 houses, a mobile health clinic and two schools in Eastern Burma have been burnt down by army patrols stepping up the offensive on Karen villagers, reports Jeremy Reynalds, correspondent for ASSIST News Service.

Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar, is the largest country by geographical area in Indochina (mainland Southeast Asia).

The Karen make up approximately 7 percent of the total Burmese population of 47 million people. They have fought for independence from Burma for over 60 years.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported the information-originating from the Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) - in a news release.

Most recently, CSW said, the Burma Army Allied Troops set fire to 46 houses in the Toe Hta area, and 28 houses in the Ka Di Mu Der area of Ler Doh township, Nyaunglebin District. A mobile health clinic, a middle school, and a nursery school in K’Dee Mu Der village and Tee Mu TaVillage were also destroyed by soldiers on Feb. 8. Other schools have been forced to close.

Thousands of people have been displaced and are still in hiding following the attacks, according to Free Burma Rangers (FBR), a relief organization working in the conflict zones of eastern Burma.

Benedict Rogers, East Asia Team Leader at CSW, said in a news release, “These latest attacks serve as clear evidence of a brutal plan of ethnic cleansing against the minorities, instigated by Burma’s military regime. Karen villagers have been subjected to severe human rights violations for far too long. Governments need to respond to these crimes against humanity by working to establish a United Nations commission of inquiry and an immediate and universal arms embargo."

CSW is a human rights organization which works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs, and promotes religious liberty for everyone.

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