Junta Forces Use Youth As Human Shield In Hpakant Township

Junta forces abducted a youth from Hpakant Township and used him as a human shield after the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) launched several ambush attacks in Kachin State.

The Burma Army (BA) arrested 20-year-old Zing Htung Nawng Lat from Nawng Mee village after the KIA attacked a column of 100 soldiers as they left the village for Dong Ban on 8 October. At least five BA soldiers were wounded in the raid, sources said.

“The military column, which was protecting a military convoy on Lido Road, left Nawng Mee around 8:00am. A little later, the KIA attacked them with a landmine. The soldiers detained the youth who was passing by at the time of the explosion,” a local male source told KNG.

The BA ignored the pleas of Nawng Mee elders for the release of Zing Htung Nawng. “They told them that they’d only release the youth if the KIA stopped attacking them,” the source explained.

Another man, who is close to the victim’s family, said the youth was released at 11:00am on the day of his abduction because the KIA didn’t attack the military convoy.

In recent weeks, the KIA has attacked the convoy on the route between Dong Ban and Shadu Zup with landmines more than five times, causing many casualties.

The KNG can not independently confirm this information.

On 20 August, the regime shut down internet access in Hpakant Township. Some suspect that this is part of the regime’s strategy to launch an offensive against the KIA and Kachin civilian resistance groups.

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