Shootings scare Kachin residents

The residents of Hpakant Township in Kachin State say they are concerned by drive-by shootings.

Kyaw Myo of Satemu village tract was shot three times by an unknown motorcyclist on October 3 and has been in hospital since.

“Some witnesses said there were two people on the motorcycle and one of them shot him. Since it happened at night, no one could see the suspects’ faces clearly,” said a resident La Min Oo.
Five villagers have been shot dead in the past two years. Two people were shot to death on May 22. Three people were gunned down in 2015.

Shwe Thein, chairperson of the National League for Democracy in the village, said: “Lives are at risk. This area is under the control of more than two armed groups. Anyone can be killed at any time. The authorities imposed a 10pm curfew. I have been threatened before. As far as I know, no one was arrested for these shootings.”

Robberies and burglaries are also common.

Villager Ye Min Htun said: “We can’t sleep soundly at night. Four or five robberies happened this month alone. Armed burglars work in two- or three-man teams. The villagers are powerless against them.”

The authorities began patrolling and checking people and have banned motorcyclists carrying a passenger after 10pm.