Sunday, June 23, 2024

Civilian Drivers Injured in Shooting on Northern Shan State’s Muse-Kutkai Road

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Gunshots were fired by an unknown armed group, leading two drivers to endure injuries to their legs.

Two civilians driving along the Muse-Kutkai road in northern Shan State endured gunshot injuries after an unknown group opened fire on them on Wednesday.

One man was driving a truck from Muse—on the China border—to Lashio, and another was driving a car from Kutkai to Muse when they were both shot at around 4 p.m. at a sightseeing spot near Manloi village.

A member of the Muse Social Assistance Group, U Khin Maung Lwin, was also traveling at the time and witnessed the shooting. He had the victims sent to two nearby hospitals, and said they had endured injuries to their legs.

“I was travelling from Muse to Mandalay. The vehicle in front of me was attacked,” he told SHAN. Because the sound of the gunshots “was not loud” he said he thought that the incident had happened “mistakenly.”

U Khin Maung Lwin said that he believed the unknown armed group mistook the truck for one that could have been carrying Burma Army soldiers. Such a truck had been spotted in the area earlier, he told SHAN.

“After the shooting, one of the injured drivers asked for help. He asked for medicine. There was not enough medicine in my car. We could not pull the tip of the bullet out. So I took him to the hospital in Kutkai and the other injured driver was sent to the hospital in Nam Phetka,” U Khin Maung Lwin explained.

Another driver from Muse, Sai Aik Aung, said that he blamed the Tatmadaw—the Burma Army—for the incident because of their practice of using civilian vehicles to transport troops. This, he said, makes all such vehicles a target.

“It’s difficult to tell the difference between civilians and soldiers when Tatmadaw soldiers ride in civilian trucks. The Tatmadaw should not do this,” he said.

SHAN reported on Thursday that there have been a series of clashes between the Burma Army and the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups in Kutkai Township, and that more Burmese military troops have been sent to the conflict area.

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