During a military operation against the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in Hsipaw at the end of November, Burma Army troops from LIB 147 used forced labor, looted food and requisitioned trucks from local villagers.
On November 28, 2017, about 60 Burmese government troops from LIB 147, based at Nawng Kaw, arrived in two trucks at Bar Karng village, then continued walking to Khar Khio village, where they forced one 50-year-old villager called Loong Su to guide them to Nam Lin village (a Palaung village with about 30 households). When they arrived there, they let him return home, then slept there for one night.
On November 29, 2017 at about 8:30 am, they left Nam Lin village, heading south into the hills, where they met SSPP/SSA troops staying in the Kawng Mai Hoong area. Fighting broke out for about 35 minutes, after which the Burma Army troops went back to Nam Lin village.
In the evening, a farmer called Lung Boon and his family were driving their truck back to their village Wan Nawng after selling corn in Hsipaw, when they met the LIB 147 troops returning to Nam Lin. The troops stopped and searched their truck, and took 10 water melons without payment. They then blocked the truck from continuing south.
The troops spent the night in Nam Lin, then continued on to Bar Karng village. On November 30, 2017, in the morning, the troops ordered the village headman to find them three trucks and forced three villagers from Bar Karng — Lung Sai Long, Nang Aye Myant and Lung San Daw — to drive them from Bar Karng to the Burma Army base in Hseng Kaew. They did not give them any money for petrol.
The SSPP/SSA signed a renewed bilateral ceasefire agreement with the Burma Army in 2012, but has suffered repeated attacks by government troops since then.
8-year-old boy killed by mortar shell in Namtu township
On November 28, 2017, Sai Hla Harn, the 8-year-old son of Lung Sarng Khiang and Ba Hsuir, went with his parents to their corn field in the hills near their village, Nar Sang, in Nar Sang village tract, Namtu township. At about 4:00 pm, he was asked by his parents to pick pumpkin leaves to cook for their dinner, and as he was collecting vegetables amongst some banana trees, he stepped on an unexploded M9 shell, which blew up, killing him instantly.
When they heard the sound of the explosion, his parents rushed to the area and found his dead body. They buried him beside the hill the same day. He was their only son.
Local villagers assume that the shell was a Burma Army shell, because they had seen government troops, (about 100 Burmese troops from 110 battalion under control of the 33rd Light Infantry Division) carrying M9 shells when they attacked the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in the area on October 2, 2017 at about 4 pm. The place where Sai Hla Harn died was where fighting had taken place between the Burma Army and TNLA the previous month.
There are about 70 houses in Nar Sarng village, which lies north of Mong Yen, Namtu township, near the Namtu river. The corn field where Sai Hla Harn died lies about 40 minutes’ walk from Nar Sarng village.
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