Burmese soldier murdered on Burma-India border

Oct 8, 2008 (DVB), Burmese soldiers have been deployed to an area along the border with India where a lance corporal from Light Infantry Battalion 228 was killed and his gun taken on 23 September.

The lance corporal was killed on a jungle path regularly used by black market traders near Lailet village in Falam township, Chin state.

Since his death, soldiers from LIB 228 and others stationed in Kalay, Sagaing division, have been deployed to the area.

A police officer on duty at an Indian police station in Kyanphaing told DVB that police were still investigating the incident, but said that India was not involved in the murder.

"There has been no involvement in this matter on the part of India. The Myanma soldiers crossed the border and demanded money from merchants," the officer said.

"We are still investigating whether the murdered soldier was on his own or at a distance from his unit," he said.

"It is not known precisely whether he was killed on our territory or Myanmar’s. But the corpse was found near the Myanmar border."

Soldiers from the battalion believe that the lance corporal's murderer could be taking refuge on Indian territory.

A border resident said some suspects had been arrested and taken to the strategic office in Hakha, the capital of Chin State, but had now been cleared.

"So they decided it must be one of the villagers and watched the villagers here," the resident said.

"There have not been any arrests yet but I heard that they arrested a villager near Lailet this morning as a suspect," he said.

"He is being interrogated. They told Lailet villagers to capture him."

Burmese soldiers stationed along the Indian-Burmese border are said to often wait on their own or in small groups on the paths used by border traders to demand money from them.

On occasion these soldiers have intentionally or inadvertently crossed over to the Indian side of the border and clashed with Indian border troops.

Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min

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