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SSA-N refutes Burmese gov’t accusation it fired on civilians


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – It was Burmese government troops who fired heavy artillery into a market in Man San village in Mongyai Township in Shan State, killing nine people, according to the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N). On Wednesday, a state-run newspaper alleged that it was the SSA-N that shelled the village.

Shan State Army-North troops have been fighting government forces since July 11.  Photo: SSAA SSA-N spokesperson said: “The people are our people, the same ethnic people. We don’t fire like that without a reason. We don’t fire our heavy weapons negligently.”

Major Sai Hla said that Chief of Staff Major General Pan Pha issued an order on June 16 not to allow racial discrimination, arbitrary killing, rape or other activities that would hurt Shan civilians.

“We don’t even live in the villages so as not to hurt our people. We didn’t even attack a village when government troops fled and took cover in a monastery in these villages,” he said.

The state-run “New Light of Myanmar” ran an article on Wednesday that SSA-N troops fired six 40 mm mortar shells into a busy marketplace in the village and wounded five civilians including two children. The village administrator, Sai Ohn, lost his house in a fire, according to the article.

The following is a list of injured persons reported in The New Light of Myanmar:
1. Sai Kham Pan (M) (6 years old)
2. Nan Muay Khaung (F) (10 years)
3. Nan Shwe Sein (F) (23 years)
4. Lone Maung (M) (40 years)
People beaten, questioned and wounded, according to the SSA-N:
Wounded:
1. Sai Kham (M) (6 years old)
2. Sai Om (M) (11 years), son of Lun Maung Yauk
3. Nan Faung (F) (11 years), daughter of Lun Lu
4. Lun Maung Yauk (M) (53 years)
5. Lun Lu (65 years)
6. Nan Shwe Sein (F) (26 years)
7. Nan Fun (F) (24 years), daughter of Nar Li
8. Nan Kyein (F) (26 years), daughter of Lun Faw
9. Saw Ya (M) (45 years)
People beaten and questioned:
1. Tint Mar (M) (50 years old)
2. Kaw Lu (M) (50 years)
3. Seik Ta (M) (50 years)
4. Saw Aung (M) (51 years)
The SSA claimed that Mongyai-based Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 325 fired 24 heavy weapons shells into the village from its outpost south of Man San village, which killed nine people including three children. Four elderly villagers were beaten and questioned by the army, it said.

A spokesman said the house of village administrator Sai Lai Sai was set on fire, and government troops fired on village secretary Sai Lao’s residence and then destroyed his house.

The SSA said about 20 government soldiers from LIB 325 entered the town’s marketplace while two SSA soldiers were shopping in the market about 8 a.m. on August 11. Government soldiers questioned the people in the market. The two SSA soldiers evaded the questioning and then overpowered a government soldier who was on sentry duty and took his weapons. Government troops retaliated by firing on the village with heavy artillery said the SSA.

Currently, the government has deployed 10 battalions in an area three miles southeast and five miles west of Wan Hai, the SSA headquarters, said Major Sai Hla. The government started its offensive against SSA-N troops on July 11. More than 2,000 civilians from around 20 villages have fled their homes and 15 schools have been closed.

An estimated 30,000 villagers have fled their homes in northern Shan State since the war broke out. The Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN) and the Shan Human Rights Group (SHRG) issued a joint statement on August 10 calling for humanitarian aid to Shan war refugees.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 August 2011 20:16 )  

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