The regime’s forces released over 30 villagers on the same day they abducted them. They were used as human shields as the column of 100 soldiers passed through Hpakant Township in Kachin State.
The sit-tat reportedly grabbed the women and men after they were attacked with a landmine near Dum Bong on the Mogaung-Hpakant road at 3pm on 2 May.
“I think they were scared after the landmine attack and grabbed villagers from Dum Bong and Lawah when they were working in their paddy fields,” a man told KNG, wishing to remain anonymous.
The soldiers released the abductees when they arrived at Kamaing Hill at 8pm, where the column was sent as reinforcements for soldiers who are stationed there.
Another source, who also asked that her name remain confidential, said the soldiers didn’t beat them. Still, the villagers were traumatised by the ordeal, she said.
At least five regime fighters were reportedly wounded by the ambush carried out by the Kachin Independence Army and People’s Defense Force.
As the regime has increased its troops in the township in recent months, so has abductions of civilians to fend off attacks by resistance groups that don’t want to target villagers.
In April, nearly 200 villagers from Mawbon and 70 from Sang Hker and Mazup Yang were forced to serve as human shields for the junta.