Monday, November 21, 2011

Burmese Army detains Baptist pastor, seven Kachin villagers in Nam Hkam

by Kachin News Group on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 10:20am

Even as civil war rages in Northern Burma, the Burmese Army detained a Kachin Baptist pastor and seven youths and men from Nam Hkam in northern Shan State on November 17 night in a military offensive on the Kachin Independence Army, said eyewitnesses.

60 year-old Reverend Maung Than, over 60 and seven Kachin villagers--- Hkangma Kum Hpang, Lamau Duk, Lamai Awng Mai, Zahkung Yaw Ting, Zahkung Yaw Sau, Zahkung Zau Lat and Nhkum La Nu were picked up from their homes in Huna village in Nam Hkam town at about 9 p.m. on suspicion of aiding the KIA, said their relatives.

A resident told Kachin News Group on Monday, “The arrest is racist in nature. Burmese troops raided only Kachin households in the town and detained only Kachins. There are many Shan households but none from among them was detained that night. The government is trying to divide Kachins and Shans.”

The pastor was released the next day after interrogation by government troops of the Kyaukme based Military Operation Command-1, said relatives.

Till Monday, the rest of the detainees had not been released from the unknown military base where they are being interrogated, tortured and forced to accept that they are members of the KIA, said their relatives.

Wives and family members have been prevented from visiting the detainees by Burmese soldiers, added relatives. Relatives and family members are extremely worried about the fate of the arrested.


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