State Administration Council and its BGF Militia, Hold 92 Karen Villagers, including Four Children, Hostage
It’s feared a large number of Karen villagers taken hostage by Burma Army and its sponsored militia the Border Guard Force, are at risk of being used as ‘protective shields’ in conflict.
The Karen National Union’s Thaton District Information Department reported 92 civilians, including four children, were being held against their will in a camp by the Burma Army and Border Guard Force (BGF)-1014 now stationed in Lay Kay village in Bilin Township, Karen State The KNU Information officer confirmed four children were among the 70 detained people from Hpa-an and another 22 from Bilin Townships.
The KNU Thaton Township Department of Information told Karen News, “The BGF-1014 and the military council coalition forces, led by Tin Win, arrested everyone [villagers] on their way as reinforcements at [BGF] Lay Kay camp. Among the 92 arrested people are four minors from Kyout Pyar village.”
The KNU information officer stressed the villagers have been taken hostage to be used as ‘shields’ to protect BGF and Tatmadaw soldiers.
The KNU Thaton District Information Department statement accused military-appointed State Administration Council and BGF soldiers from the Lay Kay army camp raided Lay Kay village, stealing food and other items from shops and houses. The KNU said that on May 10th, BGF and Burma Army soldiers from the Win Tar Pan camp raided Win Tar Pan village and stole 20 bags of rice.
The KNU Thaton District Information Department accused soldiers under the command of the military-appointed State Administration Council of having robbed possessions from and destroyed the deserted homes of the more than 10,000 villagers displaced by fighting.
The KNU Thaton District Information Department confirmed fighting on the evening of May 8th near Lay Kay village between Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) and State Administration Council and the BGF – killed four and wounded one from the military council-BGF coalition forces and one wounded KNDO soldier.