About 40 soldiers from the sit-tat (Burma army) stormed a jade mining block belonging to the Tauk Pa Kyel company near Sang Hker village, opened fire and killed three men and arrested nearly 100 people, including women.
“They arrested about 70-80 people, including lorry and backhoe drivers, jade miners, scavengers, vendors and brokers,” at around 5:30pm on 29 May an activist from Hpakant town has told KNG, wishing to remain anonymous.
A anonymous resistance fighter said, “They want to control Hpakant completely and are accusing some of the jade mining companies of supporting resistance groups.”
A villager from Lung Khin declining to be named said the sit-tat column has abducted civilians during patrols in Hpakant Township and used them as human shields.
The soldiers stayed at the mine site until the next morning when they took the captives to Kathang village. The jade brokers’ vehicles were confiscated. The soldiers offered to return them if they paid $2,400 per vehicle.
A couple of days earlier, a sit-tat column had also raided a jade mine owned by businessman U Kyaw Naing between the villages of Maw Moung Layang and Maw Wan Gyi. Twenty scavengers at the mine were arrested.