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The bodies of nine policemen, who were allegedly killed by the rebel Northern Alliance, were recovered on Tuesday in the border town of Mongko, according to a local law enforcement official.
Speaking from the nearby northern Shan State town of Muse, which has been the epicentre for clashes between government forces and ethnic rebels in recent weeks, the official said the nine bodies, including that of the Mongko police superintendent, were found when government troops conducted a sweep of the town of Mongko following the retreat of Northern Alliance troops.
The law enforcement official, who was not identified but who spoke directly to DVB TV yesterday, said that Mongko, which sits on the Burma-China border, only had 16 police officers; nine are now confirmed dead, while four have been found alive, and three remain unaccounted for.
The official told DVB the body of the police superintendent was found alongside those of his wife and an unknown man in his home in Mongko.
The Northern Alliance – a coalition made up of the Kachin Independence Army; Ta’ang National Liberation Army; Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army; and Arakan Army – on 20 November launched coordinated surprise attacks on police and military outposts in Mongko. The ethnic rebels successfully took control of the town five days later.
According to local sources, hundreds of civilians in the area have fled their homes due to the fighting, with many residents crossing the border point in the town to take sanctuary on the Chinese side.
Meanwhile, a local civil society group has claimed that three townspeople, including a child, were killed in Burmese military air strikes outside Mongko on Sunday.