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Myanmar says Karen rebels attack border town

world Updated: Feb 15, 2009 13:37 IST

AP
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Ethnic Karen rebels fired mortar rounds into a town bordering Thailand, a state-controlled newspaper said Sunday. No casualties were reported.

Rebels from the Karen National Union launched two mortar shells into the town of Myawaddy opposite Mae Sod in Thailand early Saturday, said the New Light of Myanmar newspaper. The KNU is the only major ethnic rebel group not to have concluded a peace agreement with the military government. Its separatist struggle in eastern Karen state is one of the world's longest-running insurgencies.

The newspaper said the two shells landed about 7 miles (11 kilometers) southwest of the town. One landed near a hotel and another at a monastery. There was no report of casualties. "People abhor the acts of the KNU," said the Myanmar-language newspaper, a mouthpiece of the junta. "They kill and frighten innocent people by firing from the distance into towns and villages in a cowardly way."

David Thaw, a spokesman for the KNU in Thailand, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Myanmar has eight major ethnic groups and more than 100 sub-tribes.

The military has ruled Myanmar since 1962. The United Nations and human rights groups say over the years the Myanmar military has burned villages, killed civilians and committed other atrocities against the Karen and other ethnic minorities.