A Burma Army (BA) column in western Hpakant have abducted over 80 civilians and used them as porters to carry their equipment and as human shields as they passed through the township in Kachin State.
A villager from Hseng Tawng, who spoke to KNG on condition of anonymity, said 300 soldiers arrested 30 civilians on a bridge in Hseng Tawng, some people in Kawng Sang and others on the road as they travelled from Kyauk Thwe Tawng to Yu Mar.
A Mamong villager, who also requested anonymity, said they abducted 30 jade miners on 23 November and 20 residents in Kayin Chaung later that night. On Friday, he said the soldiers nabbed more people.
“They abducted many people and later released some of the elders, but I cannot say how many they released. They took mostly young and middle-aged people,” the man said, explaining that he saw them carrying things for the army column. “The soldiers have kidnapped people as human shields because they are afraid they will be ambushed on the way.”
The regime is fighting with the Kachin Independence Army and the People Defence Force, but no fighting has been reported in the township this week.
Locals told KNG the BA column, which is travelling towards Hpakant town, had recently stayed in Kayin Chaung and Pint Tint and before that they were in Yu Mar, Kyauk Thwe Tawng and Hseng Tawng.
A man in Hpakant town, who preferred not to give his name, heard they’re sticking to the small roads and stay away from the highway. Sometimes the soldiers fire their guns before entering a village, as they did when they arrived in Ward 3 in Hseng Tawng, causing residents to flee in fear. In Kawng Sang, on 23 November, soldiers killed a civilian and wounded another person after firing at a vehicle.