Burmese troops kill unarmed Kachin civilian in Hpakant jade mine


Kareng Naw Chyan, an unarmed Kachin civilian died after being shot in the neck by government soldiers on Wednesday, September 5 in the Hpakant jade mining region of western Kachin state, according to sources familiar with the incident.

The father of two children was gathering jade stones at the Sharaw Hka mine owned by the Shwe Inn Wa firm at around 9 AM on Wednesday morning when government soldiers shot him in the neck and left him for dead, the Kachin News Group has learned.

After the shooting Kareng Naw Chyan was taken to the nearby Hpakant hospital where a bullet was removed from his neck during emergency surgery however he later died from his injuries, according to sources at the hospital.

Naw Chyan was member of the Maw Wan Kachin Baptist Church in Hpakant where a small service was held for him yesterday.

Since mid-August fighting between government troops and forces loyal to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) has intensified in the Hpakant area, home to the world's best source of jade.  The outbreak of full scale combat in the lucrative Hpakant region followed reports in early August that the Burmese military had significantly increased its presence in the area by sending hundreds of reinforcements.

The heavy fighting in Hpakant has left at least 6,000 internally displaced persons sheltering in Christian churches, Buddhist monasteries and relatives homes in the Hpakant town center. Large numbers of migrant mine workers from other parts of Kachin state, have already left the region or have been forcibly conscripted into the ranks of Burma armed forces, according to local residents.

Government troops have also begun looting abandoned mine sites and confiscating food from local villagers in the Hpakant region, the Kachin News Group has learned.



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