Thu 31 Jan 2008
Filed under: News,On The Border
The son-in-law of the head of an ethnic Karen breakaway group has been assassinated in a bomb attack, according to sources on the Thai-Burmese border.
The sources said that Colonel Ler Moo, son-in-law of Maj-Gen Htain Maung, head of the KNU/KNLA Peace Council, which broke away from the Karen National Union (KNU), was killed while sleeping at a communications office near the group’s headquarters.
Ler Moo survived an assassination attempt in early April 2007, while crossing by boat from Burma to Thailand’s Tak Province.Â He was injured and recovered after hospital treatment.
Sources believe Ler Moo was killed because of his timber business dealings. He once controlled illegal logging in the KNU Brigade 7 areas, in Pa-an Township of Karen State, with the influential support of his father-in-law.
Htain Maung was formerly head of the KNU Brigade 7, with the rank of Brig-Gen. He was dismissed in February 2007 after meeting with the governing State Peace and Development Council in defiance of the KNU.
Htain Maung then formed a breakaway group, the KNU/KNLA Peace Council, which-together with another splinter group, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA)-came under frequent attack by the KNU Brigade 7.
In August 2007, a commander of the 18th Battalion of the Karen National Liberation Army, the armed wing of the KNU, was shot dead when returning from a meeting with Burmese government officials.
DKBA sources said the commander, Lt-Col Kyi Linn, was shot while crossing the Haungthayaw River in Kawkareik Township, Karen State, by boat, after meeting government officials and other Karen ceasefire groups, including the DKBA. There has been no official confirmation of the incident by the KNU.
Like Col Ler Moo, Kyi Linn was also involved in the logging industry, in the KNU Brigade 7 areas of Kawkareik Township, and sources said his death was also probably connected with his business dealings.