Burma Army Confiscates Vehicles In Hpakant Township

Since Saturday, soldiers have been confiscating unlicensed vehicles at regime checkpoints on Hpakant Road in the township of the same name in Kachin State.

A Nam Yar local, who requested anonymity because he feared for his safety if he spoke to the media, said that sit-tat soldiers have already seized 20 cars at the checkpoint near the town. He explained that cars are also confiscated at the checkpoint outside Karmaing, but not damaged trucks. Soldiers sent 10 vehicles to Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.

After the soldiers stopped trucks carrying food and fuel to extort money from the drivers, they have resorted to using lesser roads to circumvent the junta checkpoints, but backhoes have blocked these route.

“Soldiers are checking vehicles everywhere, both outside and inside the town as well as the military checkpoint,” another anonymous source from Karmaing explained.

Soldiers in Nam Yar check every load of trucks and only allow 10 per day to enter Hpakant town. Currently, 70 trucks are held up at the checkpoint.

A villager from Hkumtsai Zup, who requested anonymity, said that the army has only strengthened its controls in Nam Yar and Karmaing to extort money.

Currently, motorists are only allowed to pass through the checkpoints between 9:30am and 4:00pm.

Villagers from Karung, Hseng Hpra, Gutnwe, Pyar Ohn and Hkumtsai Zup have been arrested at these checkpoints and forced to serve as human shields for sit-tat columns travelling in the area.

Over a year ago, the regime sent about 200 soldiers from the Light Infantry Division 33 to support the Nam Yar People’s Militia Force. Together, the soldiers operate the checkpoint and patrol the area. At night, they frequently shell areas where the Kachin Independence Army and the People’s Defence Force are located.

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