Burma Army and its BGF Militia Finally Release Civilian Hostages Used as Human Shields

Retreating Border Guard Force militia released more than 90 civilian human shields they had been using as human shields. The BGF, based at a Burma Army camp set up in Lay Kay village, Bilin Township, Thaton District, Karen State. The villagers were released on May 21st as BGF troops left the camp.

A villager told Karen News, BGF released the civilian hostages at the same time the BGF left Lay Kay camp.

The villagers told Karen News. “People from Kyauk Pya village arrested and held in Lay Kay, have now been released. General Maung Chit’s group [the BGF] sent the local people back to their village. The BGFs are no longer in the Lay Kay camp. After they left, the KNU reopened the roads, and villagers have returned to their villages.”

On May 5 when the BGF joined forces with the Burma Army to reinforce their Wintapin and Lay Kay camps, more than 100 local civilians were taken hostage and used as human shields. The BGF soldiers used the villagers as human shields against attacks as they travelled to the camp.

Even though some villagers paid to be released, most were held captive at Lay Kay camp for more than three weeks before being freed.

After the retreat of the BGF, displaced people from Lay Kay village and nearby villages have started to return to their villages. But many are still left without accommodation as their homes were destroyed by the military council’s bombing.

Villagers said it is still a concern that the Burma Army soldiers are still using Lay Kay as a camp.

Photo: CJ
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