Detained Taungtha man found dead near village 

A man who was taken into custody by regime forces early last week was found dead near his home village in Mandalay Region’s Taungtha Township on Thursday morning.

The victim, 43-year-old Moe, was arrested during a raid on the village of Hpayar Hla carried out after its junta-appointed administrator was assassinated on August 30.

“We heard the sound of a motorcycle last night, followed by two gunshots. He was next to a railway track, with wounds to his head and chest,” said a local resident who found the body.

The resident, who asked not to be identified, told Myanmar Now that eight vehicles carrying around 50 soldiers and members of the pro-military group Pyu Saw Htee arrived in the village last week after its administrator, Myint Nwe, was killed by an unknown assailant.

During the raid, Moe was apprehended in his home and taken away for interrogation. On Sunday, his captors took him back to the village and forced him to point out the homes of civil servants taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement.

“They brought him back at gunpoint and with his hands tied behind his back. But they weren’t able to arrest anybody, because they had already fled,” the villager said.

Another Hpayar Hla resident speculated that Moe was murdered because he refused to provide any more information about those who were sought by the regime.

“I’m really angry that someone from our village had to go through this. But there’s nothing we can do about it, because they have weapons,” said the villager, referring to the regime’s armed forces.

“There are almost no men left in the village now, as they are all regarded as suspects. Everyone has fled,” the villager added.

A map shows where Hpayar Hla is located 

Residents of Hpayar Hla said that Moe was a father of two and a supporter of the National League for Democracy.

Late last month, four other residents of the village were arrested on suspicion of belonging to the anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF), but they were later released.

In June, a Taungtha resident named Myo Myint Than died while being interrogated. 

The local PDF has also carried out a series of attacks in the township, killing three alleged informants and wounding one. 

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