Burma Army soldiers based in Shan State South’s in Mongnawng were reported to have staged a mocked battle near ceasefire areas, local sources said.
“The attack was organized with twofold aim: for the villagers to abstain from supporting rebel groups and probably to make up a report for their superiors,” a local resident in Mongnawng said.
It was mounted on 18 October by the Infantry Battalion (IB) #286 led by Captain Ye Myint Kyaw. It was reported to have been taken place near Mongnang, about 3 miles west of Mongnawng.
“Before the attack, they came to pick up a Tolaji (farm tractor) from the village including men and headed to the west of the village,” a villager said. “They fired their weapons for a few minutes. Afterwards, they [soldiers] arrested villagers and beat them saying they did not inform the military about the rebel groups.”
The event followed real clashes that had taken place in the area. On 16 October, a 3 truck convoy coming to Mongnawng along the Monghsu-Mongnawng road was ambushed near Wiang Kao, about 5 miles north of Mongnawng. A Captain Sithu from Infantry Battalion #286 was reportedly killed on the spot.
On the next day, 4 police officers guarding a checkpoint between Mongnawng and Wanzing (a large village south of Mongnawng), were attacked by 4 resistance fighters posing as cowherds, resulting in one officer dead.
In addition, more Burma Army units were deployed around the SSA ‘North’ First Brigade main base Wanhai on 20 October. So far LIB# 9 based in Loilem, LIB#131 based in Kehsi and LIB#287 based in Wanzing in Kehsi township, local sources said.
“Wherever they [solider] arrived they took villagers’ properties such as rice, money and chicken even eggs,” a villager from Haipa said.
As yet, no indications of a major offensive before the November elections are reported.