Home Affairs Ministry issues news release on riots in copper mine project area

U YE HTUT –    ဧျပီ ၂၅ ရက္ေန႕ လက္ပံေတာင္းေတာင္ရုန္းရင္းဆန္ခတ္မႈျဖစ္စဥ္မွာ ဒဏ္ရာရရိွခဲ့တဲ့ ရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႕၀င္ မ်ား


POLICEThe Home Affairs Ministry has released news on details about mob protests that broke out in the compound of the China-backed copper mine area in central Myanmar yesterday morning.

The news was released by the state media in the late evening yesterday.

The report said about 30 people from Zigon and Moegyobyin villages, headed by some members of Yangon Public Service Network and University of Arts and Science Students Union, started harrowing a cropland using cattle in the north of Block No.8 MCC of the copper mine project areas in Salingyi township, Sagaing Region, on Wednesday.

While authorities from the local police force and administrative department were trying to stop them, more and more villagers came to the site, bringing the number to about 70 in total. Police therefore had to rescue the authorities out of the crowds, the report said.

Likewise, some 70 villagers gathered near a land plot in Hsete village to the east of the copper mine project area at about 8.40 am. Though the head of Monywa District Police Force warned the crowd off the land about three times because the land is in the curfew-imposed area, they did not stop.

At the instigation of the members of Public Service Network, the crowd started throwing stones at the security forces. After three warning shots had been fired, the villagers withdrew. Ten security members sustained minor injuries in the violence, the report said.

At 9.15am, about 20 villagers did harrowing work in their farm in the west Block No.8 MCC. Authorities tried to settle the dispute peacefully but faced hostile responses. Five policemen were injured as they were beaten by the villages while trying to detain them.

At about 10 am, 200 Hsete villagers came to the east Block No.8 MCC to grab back the detainees. Although the division police force chief urged them to disperse, they advanced and two villagers even made attacks.

As the situation worsened, the police fired warning shots. A policeman was captured and taken away by the villagers.

But he was rescued after firing in the air. The villagers used homemade fire bombs and stones in the riots, according to the report.

After the police fired three shots using rubber bullets, the villagers retreated and disperse at 10.40am.

The violence left three villagers and 15 police injured, and the government will expose and take action against the culprits, the ministry said in its report.

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