Burma Horrors 'Continue in Secret'

Offensives in remote ethnic areas 'far worse' than urban crackdown
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2008 5:56 AM CST
In this undated photo released by Free Burma Ranger, a group of forced porters carrying goods for Myanmar soldiers pass through a village in Karen state, Myanmar. Myanmar's army has moved reinforcements...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Tensions have eased in Burma's cities since the September crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, but aid groups and rebels say brutal atrocities continue in remote areas far from media scrutiny, AP reports. Government forces are murdering, raping and burning their way through ethnic minority areas, according to reports. Villages have been destroyed and many thousands of people displaced.

"People around the world were horrified when they saw soldiers beating some people in Yangon, but far worse happens in the countryside every day, hidden from the world," said an aid agency director. Ethnic Karen rebels have been fighting for autonomy since 1949 but their numbers are falling and a fresh government offensive is expected soon.