Burma army uses villagers as human shields after burning houses in Mawpon village

By Network Media Group
April 22, 2023

On the morning of 21 April, Burma army soldiers burned some civilian houses in Mawpon village in Hpakant Township and detained about 100 villagers for use as human shields. The soldiers were from Infantry Battalion-11 (IB 11), under the command of Light Infantry Division-33 (LID-33) based in Shwebo town.

Local people said that the Burma army soldiers beat villagers after detaining them. The soldiers tied the detained people’s hands with rope, and used them as human shields.

“They burned houses in Mawpon, which is located next to Sang Hker village and is not far from Lon Khin village. The village is also not far from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) battalion-6. We are afraid of airstrikes. We tried to rescue villagers but we could not make it,” a local man told NMG.

Local people said that there were about 100 Burma army soldiers in the military column. The soldiers fired artillery shell at the village and shot their rifles inside the village.

“The military column came from Nam Yar. They fired four artillery shells when they arrived in the village. The strategic command headquarters from Hpakant town also fired artillery shells. The Burma army soldiers started to burn houses in lane no-9. They arrested villagers and used them as human shields. Some Burma army soldiers are also present in Sang Hker village. Mawpon village and Sang Hker village are right beside each other, separated by a creek. I think they arrested about 100 villagers,” a People’s Defense Force (PDF) officer, who is working on the frontline, told NMG.

The PDF officer said that soldiers from KIA battalion-44 had ambushed the Burma army military column near Nam Teing village. The military column suffered many causalities, said the PDF officer. When the IB-11 military column finally entered Mawpon village in KIA battalion-6 territory the soldiers detained villagers and used them as human shields.