Police flee PDF raid in Myaing, leaving family members behind

Two leaders of a village defense force in Kanbalu township, Sagaing region, were killed on Wednesday by members of the pro-military group Pyu Saw Htee, according to local sources.

The two victims – Myint Maw, 43, and Aung Naing Htwe, 42 – had been approached by a member of Pyu Saw Htee who lured them with an offer to sell weapons, the sources said.

“They went to where they were supposed to meet the person with the weapons. We didn’t know the arms dealer was a Pyu Saw Htee guy from Htan Kone,” said a member of the local guerrilla group Lin Yone Ni, or Red Eagle.

When other members of the defense force learned that the couple had been arrested near the village of Ywar Ma, about 6 km from the town of Kanbalu, they went to the scene to find that they had already been killed. .

“We went there as soon as we heard it, but it was too late. They had been taken by the Pyu Saw Htee and shot just outside Kanbulu. They left the bodies there,” said a member of another group called the Falcon Guerrillas.

The bodies were discovered by local residents and later recovered by a social welfare group, he added.

Aung Naing Htwe and Myint Maw have two children, and Myint Maw’s wife is pregnant with a third, residents of their home village of Inlegyi told Myanmar Now.

“It really broke our hearts and filled us with hatred. They died for a small mistake. It was because of them two that the soldiers and the Pyu Saw Htee did not dare to terrorize our village,” said another villager from Inlegyi.

Kanbalu Township is known to have a high concentration of Pyu Saw Htee members. According to a resident of Hmaw Taw, a village about 12 km from Kanbalu, the army trained members of the group in a number of villages in the area.

In Hmaw Taw, junta soldiers were openly providing military training at the local monastery in December, he said.

“A dozen soldiers and 5 police officers provided military training in broad daylight. They even had bands playing music for them. There were more than 50 Pyu Saw Htee members,” the Hmaw Taw villager said.

Tint, a leader of the Pyu Saw Htee group in Htan Kone, where the killer of Aung Naing Htwe and Myint Maw was from, allegedly killed three villagers on January 25 after telling them they had been summoned by the police.

The victims, Tun Win, Kyaw Win and Shan Maung, were all in their 60s and had no connection to any of the anti-regime groups operating in the area, according to Yatha, the leader of a clandestine armed group based in Kanbalu.

“They just terrorize civilians against whom they have grudges because of their own personal agendas. We plan to avenge them,” he said.

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