Five villagers from Mong Yaw in Shan State’s Lashio Township were found buried in shallow graves close to a Burma Army camp in the area, according to local eyewitnesses.
Photo by: Citizen Journalist- Bodies of Mong Yaw villagers found on June 29, 2016.
Sai Moe, one of the villager elders in Mong Yaw, said the five men were identified as those who were arrested by a government battalion on Saturday after an incident in the village of Long Mon.
He said the murders had been reported to the relevant authorities in Mong Yaw.
“We found their bodies yesterday [June 29],” he said. “We have reported it to the police, but do not know what to do next.”
On June 25, a Tatmadaw [Burma Army] unit with insignia identifying soldiers as from Division 33 were accused of arresting five villagers: Aik Hseng, 23; Aik Lod, 39; Aik Maung, 27; Sai Mon Awn, 17; and Sai Aik Maung, 23. The arrest followed an incident whereby the soldiers had fired for no known reason at workers in a field.
S.H.A.N. reported that at least one villager was killed, while three were injured, in addition to the five men who were detained by the government troops.
S.H.A.N. has now learned that one of those injured has since died, making a total of seven persons apparently killed in cold blood.
The five bodies uncovered on Wednesday were buried in two shallow graves: three bodies in one hole, two in another, according to Sai Leng, a relative of the victims.
“They were just civilians who were working legally and doing their jobs,” he said. “But when we uncovered their bodies, they were wearing soldiers’ uniforms.”
Photo by: Citizen Journalist- Villagers dig out the dead bodies of five victims on June 29, 2016.
Sai Wan Leng Kham, an Upper House representative from the Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) who recently visited the scene, said he had received a report about the killings. He said that his team is investigating, and that the case will proceed to the next step.
According to an official from the Northeast Region Command in Lashio Township, Burmese government forces have been beefed up in the Mong Yaw area as they were intent on pushing out the various independent militias.
However, he declined to comment on the case of the five bodies uncovered yesterday.
A source closed to Lashio-based Infantry Battalion 68 told Shan Herald that the government units did not want to move to the areas of Pang Keng Long, Pang Keng Awn and Wan Mak, so he speculated that they created a ‘false flag’ incident. He said they were afraid that if they were relocated to those areas they would be in life-threatening danger of attack by ethnic armed groups.
In and around Mong Yaw town, only the Manpang Peoples Militia, led by Bo Mon, is active. But about 30 miles out of the town, other ethnic armed groups are actively operating, including: the Kachin Defense Army (KDA) People’s Militia, led by Matu Naw; the Kachin Independence Army (KIA); the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA); and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA).
BY: Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
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