A woman has died after the Kachin Independence Army set off a mine under a truck carrying junta troops in Myanmar’s eastern Kachin state.
Along with soldiers the truck was carrying around 50 civilians, who had been seized by the junta in a raid on Hseng Hpa Yar village in Hpakant township on Tuesday.
“The woman who was killed was called N-dup Seng Nu Mai. She died on the spot. Four more residents were injured but not seriously,” said a local who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals.
“The troops stormed into Hseng Hpa Yar village and took the locals on a 12-wheeled truck along with to serve as human shields.”
When RFA contacted Kachin Independence Army Information Officer Col. Naw Bu, he said his troops did not know that the junta had taken prisoners with them on the truck.
“All the junta convoys were covered up with blue waterproof [tarpaulin]. So we detonated the mine as we had prepared in advance,” he told RFA.
“Why would we do it if we knew that villagers were in the truck? We never do anything to harm the local people. They [the junta] arrest the locals and force them to go to the front line.”
RFA called the junta spokesperson for Kachin state, Win Ye Tun, but there was no response and the junta has not issued a statement on the incident.
At least 3,400 civilians have been killed across Myanmar since the Feb. 1, 2021 coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.