Saturday, June 22, 2024

Hpakant Shelling Injures Two People

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A novice Buddhist monk and a man were wounded by a shrapnel during clashes between the military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), supported by the People’s Defence Force, in jade-rich Hpakant Township, an area in Kachin State where the armed groups have been vying for control of the precious metal.

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The fighting broke out in Maw Pon village, also spelled Maw Bon, in the Lon Khin village tract at around 6pm on 6 December. Both sides used light and heavy weapons, trapping residents in their village.

People flee while fighting broke out in Hpakant
People flee while fighting broke out in Hpakant.

One shell struck the man’s house, causing minor injuries, according to a Shan woman from Hpakant town who spoke to SHAN on condition of anonymity. The second one hit the monastery and injured the novice monk’s arm. The wounded civilians are receiving medical treatment in Lon Khin village.

Some of the villagers who managed to escape the violence fled to a monastery in Hsan Hkar, but moved to Lon Khin village the same night after the artillery fire reached the first village. “Fortunately, the shells didn’t detonate,” a man from Lon Khin, who doesn’t want to give his name for fear of retribution, told SHAN.

The jade deposits in Hpakant are among the largest in the world and a major source of funding for the military regime and the KIA.

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