Soldiers Kill Men During Hpakant Shakedown

The army shot dead two men on a motorbike in Hpakant who failed to stop at a nightly checkpoint. Since early October, junta soldiers have been threatening residents all over the town in Kachin State, sometimes shooting into the air to intimidate them.

A local, who declined to give his name for fear of reprisals, said BA soldiers shot 25-year-old Hseng Gu and Kyaw Myo Thu, 45, at a checkpoint at 10pm on 2 October, when they failed to stop their motorbike near the Club Kon intersection. The army took their bodies and refused to release it their families.

“Now people in Hpakant are afraid to go out at night,” says the man. Soldiers in civilian clothing are flagging people at intersections in town, at the old bridge and at the Two-Faced Pagoda, he says. With the checkpoints going up at 8pm, all the shops and the jade markets are closed well before 7pm so that everyone will be home by then.

In Lon Khin village, just outside of town, they’re at the Iron Bridge and a golf course where they shot and killed two jade traders at 10pm on 3 October.

Another local source, who requested anonymity, said he’d heard they were still missing, but couldn’t say whether they were injured or killed in the attack.“Some people have said that two bodies were found near Sinphyu Taw Jade Mill, but we’ve not yet been able to confirm this information.” It’s said that the traders were on their way from Maw Sizer to Kadaymaw when they were fired upon by the soldiers.

A reliable anonymous source has recently informed KNG that BA soldiers buried the men’s bodies at Kalat Kung.

On 4 October, a woman from the village told KNG on condition of anonymity that police and soldiers beat up and detained a fifteen-year-old at Lon Khin Bridge. “They killed three civilians in Hpakant because they didn’t stop at the checkpoints. They also said they’d captured weapons from the victims. Their families didn’t even get their bodies.”

She suspects that they’re trying to prevent fundraising for the revolution, but they’re punishing everyone in Hpakant. Since last year’s coup, the regime has cut off all connectivity in Hpakant Township except for the services of Mytel, which belongs to the Burma Army.

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