Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Burma army raids Kachin refugee camp, detains 20 villagers

Soldiers from the 240th Light Infantry Regiment (LIR) raided the Hpaikawng Kachin refugee camp and burned at least 50 temporary tents on Wednesday, November 28, according to a report in Kachinland News.

The soldiers have currently detained about 20 men, but have released all the women and children, locals say.

The refugee camp, which is located between Muse and Mungkoe in northern Shan state, was demolished and burned down on Wednesday by a group of Burmese army soldiers, the report said, citing local sources.

Earlier the same morning, a combined force of the Kachin Independence Army’s 36th Battalion and the Kachin Peoples Militia reportedly engaged exchanged gunfire with the Burmese army’s 240 LIR nearby Hpaikawng.

Kachinland News surmised that “Government soldiers, enraged by fierce fighting with Kachin forces, then turned to avenge Kachin refugees living in Hpaikawng camp in the afternoon.” Most villagers in the camp are Kachin and Shan ethnic nationalities, it said.

Burmese army soldiers forced all the villagers to go inside a church before they interrogated suspects. Women and children were released in the evening after hours of questioning, but about 20 men are still being detained by Burmese soldiers, said a local resident.


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