The regime is sending in additional troops in a move to control more of the villages along the Hpakant Road where lucrative gold deposits are located, locals told KNG
A anonymous source from Seng Hpra said that about 150 Burma army soldiers in 3 military trucks were spotted travelling between Mogaung and Hpakant townships on 17 August. People suspect these troops will be stationed in Seng Hpra, Tantar Nyi Naung, Pya Ohn and Khun Hsai Zup, all villages located along the Hpakant road.
“They will start operating administrating these villages. There was no previous Burma army in this area as it was generally managed by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) but now the Burma army column wants control,” the source told KNG. He expected they’ll build a camp on top of Praying Mountain near his village.
Fearing conflict, residents of the four villagers are considering fleeing their homes before the military arrives. Regime soldiers have set up a checkpoint at Nan Yar where they’re stopping everyone who passes.
Another man who spoke with KNG on condition of anonymity said the junta column was hiding somewhere in the jungles between Lawah and Don Bon.
“The military column stayed at Don Bon military camp on the evening of 17 August and left yesterday towards Hpakant,” he said.
Residents of Lawah suspect these soldiers are sent to relieve other soldiers or as reinforcements for upcoming battles with the KIA and People’s Defence Force – Kachin Region.
Soldiers and police raided Seng Hpra on 18 August and abducted villagers. Soldiers also kidnapped people from Tantar Nyi Naung, Pya Ohn and Khun Hsai Zup to use as human shields when the column travelled through the township. Soldiers beat up villagers in the area.