Soldiers from Infantry Battalion-76 (IB-76) of the Burma army destroyed and looted homes in Mazup Yang, Hpakant Township.
“All the houses were locked. They destroyed the padlocks before entering the houses. They stole money from my friend’s house,” said a female resident who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons.
After villagers fled the approaching soldiers, the IB-76, which is under Light Infantry Division-33, raided the village in Kachin State at 9am and again at 7pm on Thursday 27 April. The soldiers destroyed seven houses and some shops in the village.
Since the end of March, the army has also looted Maden Yang and Sang Khar.
“They have accused the villages of supporting the KIA (Kachin Independence Army) and the PDF (People’s Defence Force) and that is why the soldiers have raided these villages several times,” a man who wishes to remain anonymous told KNG. They also arrest locals if they suspect them of supporting the resistance, he said.
The military has been very active in Hpakant Township, detaining many civilians in its war against resistance groups and the population.
According to U Aung Hein Min, former MP of the township, the regime is trying to wrestle control of the area, which is rich in jade deposits, from the KIA.
“Hpakant is important to them (the military regime). The army is trying to block the movement of the PDF…by deliberately undermining their support from the local people. They’re only concerned with causing destruction. I warn local people to watch out as there are probably informants everywhere,” he said.