KAREN STATE – In KNU-Karen National Union Brigade 3 controlled Nyaung Lay Pin District, 17 local men were abducted on Tuesday morning (May 30) by junta council forces to be used as human shields while repairing the collapsed street lampposts between Kyaukgyi-Natthankwin section of the road, according to residents.
A resident of Kyaukgyi Town said that since the junta council troops had to pass through said section of the road to restore and repair the damaged street lampposts during the mutual exchange of fire between the junta council and the local revolutionary forces in the last few months, they abducted the local residents to ensure their safety.
“Among the first group of abductees were some girls from Natthankwin. Then they released the girls and detained only the strong boys. When repairing the lampposts were posting, those abducted boys were ordered to lead the way. The repair works are almost finished. We are still observing if they will release those abductees after they complete the repair works,” said the above local.
In previous months, the junta council ordered villagers in Kyaukgyi Town to draw lots and take care of the repair works of the road, but because it is a place where there are frequent conflicts, no one dares to go there, so they were forcibly abducted and made to serve, the residents said.
In addition, on Monday (May 29) morning, junta council forces conducted stricter inspections of all people and vehicles passing through the Natthankwin checkpoint, according to sources on the ground.
In recent days, there has been an increase in the strength of the junta troops in Natthankwin and a spreading fear that there will be attack operations by terrorist junta columns, so most of the local people do not dare return to their homes at night. Between April and May of this year, the number of IDPs in Nyaung Lay Pin District increased to hundreds of thousands of people, and the requirement of food and medicine is still high, according to the Karen Social Affairs Committee.
Similarly, in Mone Township on May 16, due to shelling by the junta council troops, more than 13,000 residents of nine villages had to flee to safety, and the junta council troops invaded Tamakho Village and Taungsu West Village and took away two civilians as human shields, according to KNU.