A 200-strong military column rounded up 20 people from Kyauk Talon after burning down about 30 homes in the village in Shwegu Township, Kachin State, on 4 March. The next morning they released all but 4 women.
“Everyone was kept in the Buddhist monastery,” said a woman who requested anonymity. She wasn’t sure why the army was still holding the four women.
Another source, who also asked for his name not be published, explained that the column was attacked by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the People’s Defence Force between the nearby villages of Kyauk Gyi and Thayar Kon a day before retaliating against the residents.
“They started setting fire to the house of U Hpoe Shwe, the former administer of the village, and the house of Daw Kyin Shwe and the fire spread to the other houses,” said the man, explaining that he had heard that the attack was related to the KIA and the PDF.
Most of the 1,000 residents of Kyauk Talon have fled to safety.
On 5 March, 7 villagers of Yay Lae were injured after regime battalions in Shwegu town fired about 15 artillery shells on the west bank of the Irrawaddy River.
On 27 February, a jet fighter killed 2 gold miners and injured 7 along the river near Nga Pouk Wa.
Both Infantry Battalions 78 and 10 and Light Infantry Division 88 are active in Shwegu Township.