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(ANS) – Strong evidence has emerged of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Burma Army against the Karenni people. A draft report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) International President Dr Martin Panter, obtained by ASSIST News Service (ANS), presents evidence of chemical weapons use during an incident which is alleged to have happened near Burma ’s north western border with Thailand on February 15. During the shelling of a Karenni camp, Dr Panter has gathered reports that a device exploded which gave out yellow smoke and a “highly irritating odor.” On April 14 Dr Panter interviewed five of the soldiers who suffered symptoms as a result of this alleged attack, such as irritation to the skin and lungs and severe muscle weakness. Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide UK , said: “The circumstantial evidence for the use of chemical weapons against the Karenni people seems to be very compelling indeed. The evidence Dr Panter gathered of irritation to people’s eyes, throat, lungs and skin point to the use of chemical weapons against them. “The Burmese regime has been waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Karenni for many years now, and the apparent use of chemical weapons is consistent with what we know of this brutal regime. CSW calls on the international community to put increased pressure on this regime to improve its human rights record. In addition we are calling on ASEAN to refuse to allow Burma to chair ASEAN in July 2006.”

To read the full story, click here: EVIDENCE FOR ALLEGED USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST KARENNI PEOPLE OF BURMA