Thursday, April 30, 2009

Three Village Leaders Abducted by Armed Group

Paletwa (Narinjara): Three village leaders, including two village chairmen, were abducted by an unidentified armed group on the western Burmese border on 24 April, after the group entered Pri Zaw Village on the border to extort money, said a relative of one of the victims.

He said, "I came to the Bangladesh border to enquire about their condition but I have not heard anything about them. An eleven-member group armed with guns abducted the men on the night of 24 April and brought them to the border area near Bangladesh."

The victims have been identified as U Sein Aung, chairman of Pri Zaw Village, U Wai Ni Kyaw, chairman of Mraung Village, and U Tun Aung, a village leader from Mraung Village in Paletwa Township in Chin State.

"The armed group took two chickens and two baskets of rice from our village. Afterward, our chairman was abducted and taken from the village," he said.

According to a border source, most of the villages know the armed group that abducted the three men, but no has revealed its identity for fear of retaliation.

"We do not know why the armed group abducted our chairman and we do not know the organization's name. We have to enquire about the abduction and later may be able to reveal the organization's name," the relative said.

On the western Burmese border, especially in Paletwa Township, there are two or three insurgent groups that sometimes patrol the area in order to ambush SPDC soldiers in the area.

According to a local villager source, the villagers in the area live in a very risky position because both the insurgent groups and the Burmese army abduct and kill villagers whenever they are unable to meet their demands for money, food, or information.

In addition the recent abduction, an elder monk was assassinated by unknown assailants in upper Sami Village in Paletwa Township last week.

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