On Wednesday, troops of the State Administration Council (SAC) released eight civilians who had been displaced by the war in Kachin State, after abducting them earlier the same day in Waingmaw Township.
The Burma army and People’s Militia Force (PMF) arrested the eight men from a encampment at a church in Kazu around 1 pm, said an anonymous local source. They were released six hours later. One of them suffered a landmine injury when they were forced to carry food rations to the Namsan Yang area for the soldiers.
“Church and camp leaders negotiated their release, and the soldiers sent them back to the camp in the evening,” the man said. He said the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) ambushed the regime soldiers and the PMF at the corner of Samar Road near Batnan village.
A frontline source reported that several PMF soldiers were killed during the attack.
The first source asked how can they live peacefully under the constant fear of SAC soldiers.
“A few days ago, we heard gunfire near our camp. Now, soldiers arrest people from the camp and use them as human shields and porters, he said.
The source added that SAC troops frequently abduct civilians to walk in front of them as protection when they travel toward Namsan Yang, where the groups are engaged in constant fighting. He added that most of the civilians displaced by the conflict are staying in camps in the towns of Waingmaw and Myitkyina, but some people are seeking refuge in the church in Kazu under the Kachin Baptist Convention.
SAC has deployed more troops from Myitkyina, Waingmaw, and Dawt Hpung Yang to the area around the village of Namsan Yang. The KIA has pinned down many of its troops in this region, close to the Kachin armed group’s de facto Laiza headquarters, where the junta has launched an offensive since early July.