Thai soldier shot dead by Burmese corporal

A Thai army soldier was shot dead earlier this week by a Burmese army corporal on the Thai-Burma border, locals say.

The shooting happened on the Burmese side of the Moei (or Salween) river on Tuesday, close to Thailand’s northwestern Mae Sariang. The Burmese soldier was from Light Infantry Battalion 434, which operates across the river from Mae Sariang.

A local in Mae Sam Laep village, close to Mae Sariang, said the Burmese corporal shot the Thai soldier after he refused to give a ride to two colleagues who were critically wounded after stepping on a landmine near their base.

“Three Thai boats were sending a group of [Thai] forestry officials to [a village up river] and upon passing Eu Thu Tha [near LIB 434 base] they were asked by Burmese soldiers to take two of their men who stepped on a landmine to the battalion’s base,” said the villager.

“The Thai boats refused to take them as they were on orders to send their officials upriver. One of the boat captains, a Thai soldier known as Ah Young who spoke Burmese, was talking to a Burmese soldier [on the river bank] and when he returned to the boat, he was shot multiple times in the back by the corporal.”

The villager said Ah Young was a friend of the Burmese soldiers and had helped them previously. The Burmese corporal who carried out the shooting was reportedly drunk at the time.

DVB was unable to contact Thai authorities.

Saw Steve of Thailand-based Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) said similar incidents occur often at the border area.

“These happen quite often. Normally, boats will not dare to travel in the river for one to two days following this. However, both sides will start using the river again when [the problem] is over.”

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