Gov’t Soldiers Ransack Homes

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Government’s soldiers searched the homes of villagers displaced from fighting in southern Shan State.

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Photo by Mong Kung villager

Villagers from Koong Nyawng Hpahsa fled fighting between the Burma Army (Tatmadaw) and the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) on Monday afternoon. When some returned the same evening, they discovered several homes had been ransacked and looted by Tatmadaw soldiers.

Sai Long, a state-level MP for Mong Kung constituency-2, told SHAN some of the homes sustained extensive damage.

“According to villagers, at least four houses were damaged. Soldiers broke the doors and shelves used for Buddhist shrines. They were searching the homes for something,” he explained.

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Photo by Mong Kung villager

Other were destroyed by shells that landed in the village during Monday’s fighting, Sai Long said. In other cases, roofs were damaged by the explosions or bullet marks marred the sides of houses.

A forty-year-old resident of Koong Nyawng Hpahsa said the Burma Army fired at villagers attempting to return and they stole rice, cooking oil, salt and chili from some of the homes.

Fortunately, no-one was injured by shells that landed in the village or the others that landed on the road and in the paddy field, said another resident.

RCSS/SSA spokesperson Sai Kham San said clashes had already stopped on the Loi Don mountain range, located next to Ham Ngai village-tract, when the fighting started near Koong Nyawng Hpahsa.

The spokesperson told SHAN the Tatmadaw has sent reinforcements to the area.

Burma Army columns were seen travelling from Lashio to the conflict area on Tuesday, according to local news reports.

The Tatmadaw and the RCSS/SSA have been fighting in Ham Ngai village-tract in Mong Kung township since February 27.

Nearly 500 villagers have been displaced from clashes and are sheltering in monasteries or with their relatives in Mong Kung and Kehsi townships. 

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