DVB Multimedia Group

Sino-Burmese border market shelled

105-Mile Trade Zone junction, some 7 km east of Muse.

Unknown assailants have targeted the 105-Mile Trade Zone, a major import-export camp on the Sino-Burmese border near Muse in northern Shan State. No casualties have been reported.

The attackers used heavy weapons, most likely mortar or artillery fire, damaging some commercial buildings.

Muse Pol-Supt Min Min Oo told DVB that munitions launched from a hilltop west of the trade zone landed in the trade zone at around 1am on 28 June.

“One of the shells landed on the roof of the Shweleikpya [Golden Butterfly] restaurant, another in front of a private bank operated by the Trade and Commerce Ministry, and a third hit a building next to the bean and sesame wholesale market,” said the police superintendent.

He said it was still unknown what type of weapons were used in the attack nor who was responsible. He said local police were investigating.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) is the largest of the ethnic militias that patrol the area. Local police commanders have previously said that the KIA is “notorious” for extorting local businesses.

A local resident in Muse, under condition of anonymity, said the townsfolk had heard rumours since Saturday of a possible attack being planned.

Various armed groups are active in and around Muse Township, and several incidents involving bomb attacks, shootings and assassinations have been reported in recent years.

The 150-hectare market area controls a strategic route between Burma and China, and is the most popular overland route for exporting Burmese goods such as agricultural produce, fish, timber, gems and minerals, while importing Chinese consumer goods, electronics, machinery and processed food.