Myanmar Military Going After Civilian Opposition Members

Recent days have seen a wave of killings of civilians by junta forces, including members and supporters of the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) and villagers living in anti-regime strongholds.
One of the fatalities reported over the past three days was Mandalay-based political activist and philanthropist Ko Than Htun Oo, a.k.a. Ko Min Ko Thein, a member of NLD’s Mandalay branch. On Saturday, he died in police custody within a few hours of being arrested.
Ko Fatty, 48, was arrested at his home in Aungmyaytharzan Township of Mandalay Region for alleged weapons possession, according to his friends.
Ko Than Htun Oo, also known as Ko Min Ko Thein, is a political activist and philanthropist based in Mandalay and a member of the NLD’s Mandalay branch.
During the raid on his home, junta forces ordered him to kneel. Apparently, he was shot in the knee when he said he couldn’t kneel due to his weight. He was arrested even though no weapons were found. His family learned about his death on Sunday night. The body was not returned to the family, and regime officials said the funeral was organized themselves.
On Friday, a second NLD member in Mandalay, Ko Ye Yint, was also killed in detention. Apparently fleeing the police station, the 30-year-old was shot dead. The junta detained him for setting off a bomb explosion in Sein Pan ward, near his residence. The locals, however, rejected the junta’s accusations against their neighbor.
On Friday morning, U Pauk Gyi, a vocal supporter of the NLD in Mandalay, was also found dead along an embankment in Sein Pan, Maharaungmyay Township. AAPP stated in their most recent report that his body bore stab wounds to the neck and a gunshot wound to the head.
U Pauk Gyi was arrested and taken away by junta soldiers and members of Pyu Saw Htee, a militia group trained and armed by the junta, at midnight last Thursday following a tip from a junta informant.
Youth activists and villagers from strongholds of anti-regime resistance groups who have inflicted heavy casualties on junta forces were also killed recently.
As junta forces arrested Ko Sithu Kaung Myat, 24, from Bago City in Bago Region on Thursday, he was shot in the head, stomach, and hands. The AAPP reported that he died on Friday while receiving medical treatment at Bago General Hospital.
According to the AAPP, police sealed the house he and his mother lived in after he died so that no one could enter.
Four youths were shot dead in Sanchaung Township, Yangon Region, at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. Propaganda published by military supporters portrayed the incident as a shootout between civilian guerrilla fighters and junta forces on the Myaynigone flyover. The propaganda accounts also stated there were casualties among the junta forces.
However, according to accounts of locals and video footage recorded by a civilian, there was no shootout in the area and the youths were dragged down from their apartment, beaten and kicked several times, and shot.
In Kayah State’s Demoso Township, which has seen intense clashes between junta forces and civilian resistance fighters, a 70-year-old wearing a T-shirt with a UN emblem was shot dead on Sunday.
The hearse carrying his body hit a mine allegedly planted by regime troops on Monday.
Over the weekend, scores of civilians were also killed in Sagaing Region, which has seen numerous junta raids in response to civilian resistance.
On Sunday, heavy troops raided Tharsi Village in Sagaing’s Kalay Township and shot and killed a police officer and a villager.
On their way back from Tharsi, the group attacked the troops with an allied group, the People’s Defense Force-Kalay reported. Three junta troops were killed in the clash.
On Sunday, local community pages in Sagaing Region reported that four villagers, including a woman in her 60s, were killed in Nabutaw Village, Yinmabin Township.
Monyway and Kyaymon villages in Monywa were also surrounded by junta soldiers on Monday, who arrested several villagers.

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