Tatmadaw Releases Three Bhamo Detainees—Two Still in Custody

The whereabouts of two Lisu villagers—including one 10-year-old boy—taken from their farm last week by Burma Army troops remain unknown.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Burma Army has released three of five villagers detained in Bhamo, Kachin State since last week, local sources said.

“Three villagers are released. All of them are living in Natkok village. They are ethnic Burman people. Two villagers are still under arrest,” an area resident, who requested anonymity, told NMG on Monday.

The three detainees were reportedly taken into Burma Army custody on October 16 and 17 by troops from the military’s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 250 just before clashes broke out with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on October 19. LIB 250 is based in Mohnyin town.

The individuals were allegedly made to serve as porters for the government troops.

“According to them, they were forced to carry wounded soldiers in battle. They were also forced to carry food rations,” the Bhamo local said.

It remains unknown which military battalion arrested the other two villagers, both ethnic Lisu who have yet to be released. They live near Natkok village, and were taken by soldiers while working on their corn farm. Locals say one of the people detained is a child.

“One villager is just over 10 years old. He is just a kid. We only know that they were arrested by the Burma Army but we don’t know the battalion number,” the local explained.

Clashes occurred between Burma Army and KIA forces in Bhamo last week, leading to the Burma Army seizure of a post belonging to the KIA. The area is largely home to ethnic Burman, Lisu, and Shan communities.