Belin, May (1)

More than 60 civilians have been captured and used as human shields by a combined force of military council and BGF as they invaded the area under the authority of the Karen National Union (KNU) Brigade 1, said the KNU officials.

On the morning of April 30, the military council troops arrested more than 60 civilians in Shauk Kone village in Hpa-an Township, and used them as a human shield while marching to Wintar Pan camp in Belin Township.

The elderly and women were among those abducted, and the military council also ordered them to carry bags and food, according to Chairman of KNU Brigade 1 Thaton District Pado Saw Soe Myint.

“The BGF has increased its forces. They arrested the adults and the women, and asked them to lead the way and carry the packages,” he added.

The conflict is anticipated to intensify as the military council marches with two columns, one from Hpa-an to Wintar Pan and the other from Pain Taw base in Thaton, strengthening its forces.

Military tensions have intensified when the Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) issued a warning to withdraw its troops from the KNU Brigade 1-controlled Lay Kay and Wintar Pan camps in Belin Township by April 23.

More than 7,000 residents of Belin Township have fled to surrounding woodlands and safer areas as military tensions rise, and some refugees are already facing water shortages owing to the scorching heat.

News – Than Lwin times

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