The Burma Army (BA) has forced a couple in Pekon Township to guide them and walk in front of their battalion as human shields in an area of southern Shan State where they are fighting with civilian resistance groups.
According to a local source, the BA arrested Maung Gyi and his spouse Win Kyi on their farm in Shwe Pyi Aye on the morning of September 4.
“The soldiers used the farming couple as human shields. People try to flee their villages as soon as the soldiers arrive, because this kind of thing is common in our area,” the man who is from Kong Sone told SHAN.
He said a BA column stayed in his village for a fortnight. After fighting with civilian combatants on the Kong Sone mountain, they moved on towards Hkawng Ei, where they clashed with other fighters in the village.
On September 1, the BA launched an offensive against Pekon People’s Defence Force and Karenni Nationalities Defence Force in the township.
Human rights activists said the BA soldiers were committing war crimes by using civilians as human shields and looting their homes.
Over 119,000 civilians have been displaced by the BA offensives during the conflict with the PDFs in southern Shan and Karenni states, which began in May.