Four injured in Hpakant grenade attack

Four injured in Hpakant grenade attack

Four people were injured in a grenade attack on the police station in the village of Lawng Hkang in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township on Thursday evening.

Lawng Hkang police station chief Tin Ko Ko told DVB that four people, all family members of police officers, were injured when unknown assailants on a motorbike hurled a hand grenade into the station’s compound.

“The incident took place around 6pm. The grenade landed right in front of the police station and four family members of policemen – two male and two female –sustained shrapnel injuries on their head, stomach and groin,” said the police station chief.

“One of the female victims suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital in Hpakant.”

He said the assailants could not be identified due to the busy traffic on the road at the time of the attack. “Police have now stepped up security in the village,” he added.

The police station in Lawng Hkang [also spelt Lonkhin] is relatively small, with only three police officers and 20 privates.

The attack took place amid fierce fighting in the area between Burmese government forces and the Kachin Independence Army.

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Gunfire broke out around the Uru Creek, about 10 miles southeast of Lawng Hkang, on Thursday morning and fighting was continuing as of Friday morning, said Tin Soe, a National League for Democracy member in Hpakant.

Residents from nearby villages, including Lawng Hkang, Aungbarlay, Kansee, Bawsadee and Tagaung, as well as workers in the Hpakant jade mines, have fled their homes to shelter in a Buddhist monastery and a Catholic church outside the range of hostilities.

Sargi, a member of the Kachin Social Development Network civil society group, said that around 700 villagers, including more than 200 students and 20 teachers, are trapped inside the village of Tangun.

“Charity groups and religious leaders in Hpakant on Thursday tried to go to Tangun village to provide necessary help to the stranded villagers but the roads were blocked – the army has blocked access between the village and the town,” said Sargi.

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