Arakan Liberation Party officer shot dead in Rakhine State capital

The man, whose name and rank were not released, is the seventh assassination victim this year from the faction of the ALP recognised by the junta

An officer in the armed wing of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) was shot dead in front of a telegraph office in Sittwe, Rakhine State, last week by an unidentified assailant, according to eyewitnesses and local media reports.

The ethnic armed force, established more than 50 years ago and claiming around 1,000 members, now has three factions. The officer shot on September 15 was from an ALP bloc that is known to be aligned with the junta and is headed by Saw Mra Yarzar Lin; its military and political officers have repeatedly been targeted for assassination in Sittwe. 

The group is known to have had conflict with the Arakan Army (AA), a powerful ethnic armed organisation operating in the region.

Another officer in the ALP faction in question confirmed the recent killing of its member to Myanmar Now but refused to disclose the victim’s name or rank. Local news outlets described him as a battalion commander, which Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify.

An eyewitness said that the man died at the scene.

“He was shot in the head and an ambulance took him to the morgue at the Sittwe Hospital,” the individual told Myanmar Now.

Other locals claimed that junta forces had been stationed on the road in front of the telegraph office and had restricted access to the area. 

Three ALP officers, including Gen Khaing Soe Mya, were shot dead in early January, after attending a junta-sponsored independence day event in Sittwe. Three more, including the organisation’s vice chair, were killed in a similar manner near Sittwe Hospital on July 1. 

The ALP has blamed the AA for these attacks, but the AA has denied involvement. Past abductions of ALP members by the AA have been confirmed. Lt-Col Khaing Paw Lin, a member of the party’s central executive committee who attended talks with the military in June of last year, was arrested by the AA from his home last August. The AA has stated that he remains in their custody. 

In 2020, several ALP members were detained by the ethnic armed organisation for periods ranging from just over a week to more than six months.

Related Articles

Back to top button