Pangsai villagers shot by Burmese military during offensive

Clashes-between-the-KIA-and-Burmese-army-erupt-in-5-places-in-Shan-StateBurmese military troops have been reinforcing their positions near Pangsai (Kyukok) in northern Shan State and killing civilians at the same time the government peace team and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) have been meeting.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) ambushed 60 Burmese soldiers who were travelling on foot along the road near the Hka Chyawng River close to Hpai Kawng on 26 June. Two Burmese soldiers were killed and six-injured from the clash which lasted about one hour.

According to a resident, after the fighting ended, Burmese troops shot and killed Chinese civilian, Yan Xi Shan, at his farm, close to where the hour-long clash took place.

Yan Xi Shan’s two brothers, Dashi Ma San and Dashi Ma Gawng, who live nearby, were also shot by Burmese soldiers. His youngest brother, Ma Gawng managed to escape with a bullet in his leg to a hospital in China where he is being treated. But his other brother, Ma San, was arrested under suspicion of being part of the KIA.

Burmese soldiers also stole three motorbikes from their property, according to an Hpai Kawng villager.

“The village elders asked the Burmese soldiers to release Dashi Ma San as he’s not connected with the KIA. But he hasn’t been released yet,” said the villager.

Another villager from Pangsai reported seeing Burmese soldiers and six vehicles loaded with troops heading to Munggu (or Mongkoe) from Pangsai on June 26.

“I saw the six cars in the late evening. But they were not military vehicles there were more like tractors,” he said.

“The government wants to keep the KIA from controlling parts of northern Shan State. The KIA who were previously in Kutkai, Loi Kang, have secured positions near Munggu, since fighting started over one year ago (June 9, 2011).  While peace discussions take place the government is worried the about the KIA growing influence in the area. The government is sending in more troops to reinforce their positions,” he added.