The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) has beefed up security around the residence of its commander-in-chief, Maj-General Saw Lah Pwe, after Thailand asked Myanmar for help in arresting him.
The DKBA leader, also known as Na Kham Mwe (Mr Mustache), is on Thailand’s list of 25 most-wanted suspected drug dealers.
DKBA officers have been deployed to guard his military camp, which is opposite Tak’s Phop Phra district.
Earlier, the group closed 12 border checkpoints under its control. According to military intelligence sources, the Karen general has mobilised troops and told them to be ready for combat along the border, reportedly in preparation for a “military retaliation” against Thailand for blacklisting him. Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung earlier made provocative remarks against the Karen leader.
The general has reportedly allowed the 12 border checkpoints to be reopened so that mine operators and Thai farmers can work in their mines and plantations. However, few people have ventured to cross the border due to safety concerns.