“They said they would rape us, kill us and would do whatever they want if the Shan army attacked them from now on,” said a woman who has finished her service turn last week. “So we had to be very careful.”
During these days, most of the clashes were reported to have been started by the SSPP/SSA’s ambushes of the Burma Army patrols and columns on the move, resulting in the increase of Burma Army casualties, said a source.
SSA spokesperson Major Khurh Mao told SHAN earlier that they would never stick to a static defensive. It was instead to be on a mobile defensive as the strengths between the two sides were unbalanced.
On 12 April, the SSA’s Brigade No. 36 set up an ambush for the Burma Army soldiers in areas around Wantong village, east of Tangyan, killing 5 and 9 wounded. On the same day, a half an hour long clash in Tawng Hio village had reportedly killed 3 Burma army soldiers and 4 civilians and 6 wounded.
Clashes were still reported yesterday, in areas south of Tangyan township and along the Salween. Villagers nearby were forced to porter and guide the Burma Army patrols everyday as they were not familiar with the terrain.
On 11 April, 19 villagers, 17 of them women, from Nakha and Wanpong villages of Tangyan township were called to take the service up to date, according to villagers.
No further details of them were known.
Now, villagers in the war zones are not only being forced to porter, but also facing killing by unknown cutthroats. About 15 civilians including school teachers had been killed during the Water festival 13-15 April.