70 merit-makers blown to death in southern Shan State, Burma -- violent end of rains retreat
- "S.H.A.N." <shan@...>
No: 10 - 11
27 October 2002
70 merit-makers blown to death in southern Shan State
Sources coming from across Chiangmai said two Burmese shells killed 70 people observing Buddhist Lent in the southern town of Mongnai, 92 miles southeast of Taunggyi.
The shells, believed by the sources to be fired from the Light Infantry Battalion #518 command post, at 23:00, on the night of 14 October, coinciding with the 8th Waxing Moon of the 11th Lunar Month, a traditional day of religious observance, also destroyed part of the Sala Kao-hawng (9 room-pavilion) at Pawmong Quarter, Mongnai's northernmost suburb and wounded 21 others.
The dead included 6 men and 64 women in addition to 2 men and 19 women who were injured. So far, S.H.A.N. could only obtain three names: Zarng Mawng, 62, headman; Heng Yong, 56 and Awng Pay, 36.
Sources who were in Thailand to inform their relatives working there said they had no idea why the killings occurred. "Our elders have already notified the local authorities but no one has come out to explain or take any action yet," complained a woman.
There are two Burmese battalions in Mongnai: IB 248, located north of the town and LIB 518 down south.
Regardless of the proximity to IB 248, the townspeople confirmed that the shells came from the direction of LIB 518. "They left a hole 2 cubits (1 meter) deep and 3 cubits (1 1/2 meters) wide," said one.
Mongnai is a historic town, founded according to palace records in BC. 519 and the former seat of one of the biggest princely states of Federal Shan States, the former name of Shan State.
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