Thursday, 21 November 2019

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Two policemen injured in clash with drug cartel sent to Rangoon

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Two policemen, injured in an ambush by drug traffickers on February 20, which claimed the lives of 14 police personnel, were sent to Rangoon General Hospital from Tachileik hospital by air yesterday.

The drug cartel’s army led by king pin Naw Kham opened fire on policemen on routine patrol in the Golden Triangle area bordering Burma, Laos and Thailand on Saturday, leaving 14 dead or missing and two injured. The policemen were from Wan Pong Township police force in Tachileik District, Shan State.

Police Sub-Inspector Sein Hlaing received gunshot injuries with bullets still embedded in his body. Police constable Kee Muu, who received gunshot wounds in his legs and arms, was sent to Rangoon by Myanmar Airways.

Quoting Sub-Inspector Sein Hlaing, a person close to Tachileik police station said that a 16-member police unit led by Police Inspector Khin Maung Yin was on routine patrol duty in three boats. Two boats came ashore when they saw two women and two men fleeing to the island when they reached Pu Kying Island in Laos' territory.

When the two police boats came ashore, the drug traffickers opened fire on them. They used 40 mm grenade launchers and then opened small arms fire.

The boatman in the last boat with four policemen fell into the water when they were ambushed with grenade launchers. The rest of the policemen opened counter fire and tried to flee in which the boat hit a rock and turned turtle. After the encounter, Laos soldiers saved sub-inspector Sein Hlaing and police constable Kee Muu from the water, it is learnt.

The clash occurred on Pu Kying Island, which is some distance from Wan Pong on the Mekong River. It is in Laos territory east of Pa Sar and Sam Puu villages.

The body of police inspector Khin Maung Yin was found on a jetty in Thailand at about 9:50 a.m. on 22 February and sent to Tachileik hospital mortuary, according to the police source.

"The police will cremate six bodies today. Three bodies are still missing and five bodies are in Wang Pong. The total is 16 besides two people's militias and three boatmen," Tachileik police sources said.

The missing are police sub-inspector Thant Zin, anti-drug force police corporal Zin Min Maung and a local boatman, it is learnt.

Police Chief Khin Yee arrived in Tachileik yesterday.

Quoting survivors, the police source said that the injured were brutally tortured and killed with knives by the drug cartel’s army.

The Naw Kham drug trafficking group is believed to have 80 personnel. It collects levy and protection money from drug traffickers in the notorious Golden Triangle along with trafficking of heroin and Methamphetamine drugs.

Naw Kham first joined the Lwe Maw militia force led by drug warlord Khun Sa and then joined the Shan United Army (SUA) and Mong Tai Army later. Then he shifted to Tachileik when Khun Sa surrendered to the junta in 1996. Local people accuse him of having a nexus with some local authorities.


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