Gunmen Release Abductee in Namkham

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A woman abducted by an unknown armed group in Burma’s unruly northern Shan State was released yesterday, October 19.

The woman, who owns a construction and electrical supply shop in the town of Namkham, was taken by three gunmen in Pauk Nay ward at about 2 p.m. this Sunday, October 18, and then released the afternoon of the following day.

A man in Pauk Nay ward told SHAN three gunmen, dressed in civilian clothing, said there were police and abducted the woman. “They released her today after realizing they grabbed the wrong person.”

Numkham woman
Numkham woman

“I think a Ta’ang armed group abducted her by mistake. And that’s why they released her,” said Nang May, who lives in Namkham. She thinks that the anti-narcotics unit of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) arrested the woman on suspicion of drug trafficking. The abductee is suffering from “mental trauma” after the ordeal, Nang May said. “They shouldn’t have done that!”

Locals told SHAN that the gunmen were speaking Ta’ang to each other.

TNLA spokesperson Maj Tar Aik Kyaw told SHAN he doesn’t know anything about the incident.

In 2017, TNLA arrested Nang Mo Hom, who runs a shop selling construction supplies in Namkham, and held her for two months. After over 10,000 demonstrated in Namkham for Nang Mo Hom’s release, TNLA handed over the Shan woman to Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army.

SHAN called Namkham police station for a comment about Sunday’s abduction but couldn’t reach anyone.

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