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Six villagers tortured, two killed during SAC military operation in Nawngkhio township, northern Shan State – Update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation

February 27th, 2023  •  Author:   Shan Human Rights Foundation  •  3 minute read
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Update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation

February 27, 2023

Six villagers tortured, two killed during SAC military operation in Nawngkhio township, northern Shan State

Six villagers were tortured, one shot dead, and one killed in an airstrike during a SAC military operation against PDF forces near Long Khan village, Nawngkhio township, northern Shan State, which started on February 10, 2023.

Early on February 10, about 100 SAC troops from LIB 502 and LIB 505 under Military Operations Command # 1 approached Long Khan village on foot from the south. When they reached the eastern edge of the village, fighting broke out with the Mandalay PDF forces operating in the area.

At midday, as fighting continued, three jet fighters came and dropped bombs on the village and the forest east of the village. One bomb landed on the village temple, damaging the temple building and a stupa.

When the fighting died down in the afternoon, most of the villagers fled south in trucks and tractors to take shelter in Ho Kho village. However, some male villagers stayed behind to look after their houses.

That evening, the SAC troops entered Long Khan village and began searching through the houses. They arrested seven men from their homes, tied up their hands, and took them to the forest east of the village where they were camping. The seven men were farmers aged between 18 and 35 years old.

On February 11, in the evening, the SAC troops separated the seven men into groups to interrogate them. They first took two men away and questioned them about the PDF, hitting them with their fists. Afterwards, they brought back the two men, and took away three other men, interrogating them in the same way. After bringing back the three men, they took away one of the remaining villagers and similarly interrogated him. Finally, after bringing him back, they took away the last villager, 24-year-old Ai Sai (not his real name). After a while, when Ai Sai did not reappear, the other villagers asked the SAC troops what had happened to him. The SAC troops replied that they had shot him dead because he was a PDF member.

The same evening, at about 7 pm, a jet fighter came and bombed Long Khan village again. A bomb dropped on one house, killing a male villager called Sai Aung Thein, aged 23.

During this time, the SAC troops searched through villagers’ houses and looted their property. Goods worth over 20 million kyat were stolen from three village shops.

On February 12, the SAC troops interrogated the six villagers again about the PDF before releasing them and letting them return home. They threatened that if they found anyone joining the PDF, they would burn down the entire village. They also told them to tell all the villagers who had fled to Ho Kho village to come back to their houses, or they would burn them down. As a result, all the villagers returned on February 14.

There are about 80 households in Long Khan village, with over 200 residents, both Shan and Danu.

Altogether 552 villagers, not only from Long Khan, but also from the nearby villages of Na Kha, Khur Neem, Peing Nyo, Suan Oi, and Kala Gwe, had fled to take shelter at Ho Kho temple on February 10. All returned home on February 14, as the SAC troops had threatened to burn down all their villages if they did not go back.

The SAC troops are still operating in the forest around Long Khan village, carrying out spot checks on people passing along the main road, and occasionally patrolling through the village.


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