Eight armed Chinese men have been arrested in Myanmar and are being questioned in prison, the country's Foreign Ministry has confirmed. A newspaper earlier reported that the men, who appeared to have undergone military training, had allegedly killed a man.
They were arrested early on April 25 near Tamu, on the border with India, after a car chase following the killing on the other side of the country.
Police seized the car, eight weapons, 1,860 rounds of ammunition, 31 grenades, three military knives and other arms, the English-language Eleven Media Group in Myanmar reported.
It added that one of the men arrested, the car's driver, identified as Han Lu Lu, told police they had undergone military training at a village in the Kokang region bordering China.
A report last month in the state-run New Light of Myanmar, provided by the country's ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to a request for comment, concurred with much of the Eleven Media Group report. Its report said police had arrested the suspects after a 15-minute car chase. It said the men had driven off after allegedly killing a man, possibly a soldier, in Kokang.
It was unclear from the report (and the government did not clarify) whether the slain man was a member of Myanmar's military or one of the militias currently active in Kokang.
The eight, now in a prison in Mandalay, had been charged with immigration offences and a special team was investigating the military training they had received, a police captain in the Criminal Investigation Department told Eleven Media Group.
The New Light reported that three of the suspects were from Sichuan province, two from Anhui and the rest from Guangxi , Hubei and Guizhou .
A staffer at the Chinese consulate in Mandalay said they had read the media reports and were still trying to confirm details with officials in Myanmar.
"If they're found to be violating Myanmar law, the consulate could only provide humanitarian aid," the official said.
Myanmar police did not respond to e-mailed requests for information yesterday.
Additional reporting by Laura Zhou and Teddy Ng