The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) raided a Burmese government labor camp on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at about 2 p.m. local time and freed at least 52 prisoners, KIA officers said.
Mainly drug addicts and people related to ethnic armed groups and political organizations were included among the released prisoners, said KIA officers.
The labor camp was located at Shwe Pyi Thit, between the villages of Nam Um and Dima, in Muse Township in Northern Shan State, eight miles southeast of the Mandalay-Muse China border trade route.
The raid was carried out by the Dima-based KIA Battalion 9, under officers from Brigade 4.
The prisoners were freed to mark the September 21 World Peace Day, battalion officers said.
After the raid, the KIA also arrested 8 armed policemen, who guarded the labor camp, added KIA officers.
The government’s Drug Treatment Center (Rehab) is located near the labor camp but it was not harmed in the KIA’s raid, according to local witnesses.
Both the government labor camp and rehab centre were opened in the controlled area of the KIA’s Battalion 9 during the earlier 17-year ceasefire period between the KIA and Burmese government.
The ceasefire ended on June 9, when civil war broke out between both sides in the KIA controlled areas in Kachin State and Northern Shan State.