The Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) has accused the Burma Army of attacking ethnic Shan civilians during recent military operations on the border of Kachin and Shan states. It said at least one person had been killed and five others were shot and injured by government troops since mid-April.
On April 10, the Burma Army began an offensive against Kachin Independence Army (KIA) troops in Kachin State’s Mansi Township, the rights group said in a statement released Thursday.
“Deploying over 1,000 troops, they fired hundreds of shells to drive out the KIA, in the populated Shan farming area of Tung Loi Ho Hsur west of Namkham” a town in northern Shan State, it said.
“The shelling caused civilian injury, and damaged temples, houses, vehicles and other property. The Burma Army troops also entered villages, looted food and livestock, and set fire to farmers’ crops, causing well over 1,000 Shan villagers from about 15 villages to flee to neighboring towns in northern Shan State, as well as into China,” the group said.
The Burma Army has since seized the Pang Kham border crossing to China from the KIA.
SHRF said most of the displaced have since returned home to their villages, but security remained tight following the offensive and government troops guarding the Chinese Shwe gas pipeline, which runs west of Namkham, have opened fire on villagers on several occasions.
“Five villagers have been shot and injured by soldiers … and last week a woman was shot and killed when riding a motorbike past a security checkpoint east of Namkham,” the statement said, adding that it “strongly denounces these military operations by the Burma Army, which are fuelling conflict and endangering the lives of local civilians.”