MANDALAY — A group of female prisoners being transferred from Laukkai to Lashio by a military convoy have been seriously wounded, after drivers attempting to flee an ambush ran off the road and crashed their vehicles.
The convoy of eight trucks, carrying 48 female prisoners, was attacked near Long Htan, a village about halfway between Laukkai and the border town of Chin Shwe Haw.
“The prisoners and a driver are now at Kunlong hospital. Three are in a serious condition and will be transferred to Lashio,” said Kunlong township administration officer Min Swe on Monday.
A Tuesday report in state-run newspaper the Global New Light of Myanmar said that 44 female prisoners, a correctional officer and a member of the Burma Army had been injured in the ambush, which was blamed on Kokang insurgents. Min Swe said the Burma Air Force had been deployed to repel the attack on Monday evening.
The Burma Army and Kokang rebels have been fighting pitched battles around Laukkai since Feb. 9. The incident occurred in the same location as the ambush of two Red Cross convoys in separate attacks last week. Tuesday’s edition of the Global Light of Myanmar claimed that stability had returned to the Laukkai area, with nearly 800 people returning to their homes by Sunday.