The Burmese junta forces have detained more than 100 people, locking them up in three
locations and apparently using them as human shields in Pauk Taw township, 20 miles east
of Sittwe, after the soldiers recaptured
the area from the Arakan Army (AA).
A local social activist said, "We heard that more than 100 people were detained from three places. However, some say there may be 200, who were picked up by the junta forces.”
They are being held at the Law Ka Hteit Pan Pagoda hills, the agriculture warehouse, and the township fire station. Moreover, a few people are missing after an arm clash between AA members and the military in the town.
Since the battle started on November 16, hundreds of people have left Pauk Taw because they fear that the junta troops may carry out atrocities.
Eight female teachers were arrested by junta troops after they attempted to flee Pauk Taw on November 16, following hundreds of other citizens who left the town. Family members claim to be concerned for their kin.
A family member said, “I got a phone
call that day from them at around
2:30 pm just after the soldiers recaptured the town. One teacher told me not to worry as they reached the pagoda
hill. I could
hear some gunshots too. I called again at 5 pm and this time a soldier picked up the phone. He only informed that they were detained.”
"From the day they were arrested until today, I have not been able to contact them. I want to know how they are doing. Their phones are now switched off. We want them to be released soon,” said an affected relative.
AB News reported that four school teachers and two of their children were detained by the military council troops from urban area of Pauk Taw.
They have been identified as Daw Ma Tin Nyunt (50 years old), Daw Ma Hla Khin (60), Ma Su Nyein Hlaing (a university student), Daw Thein Thein Oo (44), Maung Soe Ye Than (son of Thein Thein Oo) and Daw Ma Ohn Khin (49).
While Narinjara News can verify the locations where army personnel have detained residents of Pauk Taw, it is unable to confirm the total number of detained.
However, a former MP from the town, who is also hiding, claimed that over 200 residents were detained by the junta forces.
Currently, more than 200 soldiers and 60 police personnel have been deployed in the town area. The AA stated that they will retaliate against the junta forces who killed innocent civilians.
Some political observers state that the military council has been detaining the civilians for using as human shields against the AA attacks.