A Shan ethnic armed organisation (EAO) killed a man after he was caught allegedly harvesting illegal timber in eastern Shan State.
Lt-Col Ohm Khur, the spokesperson for the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), told SHAN his soldiers apprehended two men on April 27 for illegal timber production on Loi Pankaw mountain, an area controlled by the EAO.
“One of the timber traffickers tried to take a gun from one of our soldiers and they shot him,” Sao Ohm Khur said.
The men, who are from Chit Htoo, were found with three chainsaws, and several logs and timber planks.
After the incident, rumours circulated on Facebook that RCSS/SSA soldiers were collecting taxes and they shot the man when he refused to pay up.
Sao Ohm Khur denied the allegations. “There are many people that said our soldiers killed him because he didn’t pay taxes but it’s not true.” He said RCSS/SSA representatives have already explained to the headman and villagers in Chit Htoo why their soldiers killed the man.
A police officer from Myoma station in Tachilek has confirmed the man is from Chit Htoo. The officer said the man was shot in the back and a murder investigation has been opened. The man’s body was sent to the Tachilek public hospital for an autopsy a few days ago.
The RCSS/SSA is a signatory of the NCA (Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement).