The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) abducted 8 Shan youths from Muse District in northern Shan State. Five of them were released the same day, while three others were held captive and the family prevented from seeing them.
According to a 30-year-old man from Muse Township, who spoke to SHAN on condition of anonymity, the eight youths were taken from a shop in Mong Paw in Tar Lon village tract around noon on 9 March. Four women and one man were released in the evening.
Sai Aik Pao, 23, Sai Mawng Liang, 34, and Sai Kyan Hla, 33, are still being held. Two are from Wan Weing in Kutkai Township and the other from Mong Paw in Muse Township.
On 11 February, the KIA also kidnapped 3 youths from their home at Ner Ngu in Yon Maw village tract, Kutkai Township,
The KIA allegedly abducted seven Red Shan (Taileng) in Bhamo District, Kachin State, in 2014, in what some believe was part of forced recruitment scheme, according to DVB.
In 2012, the KIA abducted nearly 60 Ta’ang and Lahu sugarcane workers, including women and children, from Man Phang, according to Radio Free Asia. Some people feared that the villagers would be forcibly recruited as soldiers, but almost all were eventually released; ten people had already escaped their Kachin captors. According to a KIA statement, they were released because they could not be properly questioned where the soldiers were holding them. The ethnic armed group did not say why they wanted to interrogate the villagers.
The KIA is fighting with the Burma Army in northern Shan State and is a member of the Northern Alliance, which also includes the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, which is also fighting with the regime in the region.