Junta-appointed ward administrator killed by unidentified gunman in Mandalay

A ward administrator in Mandalay’s Aungmyethazan Township died of his injuries after being shot at close range by an unidentified gunman at his home on Tuesday evening. 

Naing Lin, 40, was the junta-appointed ward administrator in Minde Eikin, and was attacked at his house near the intersection of 12th and 86th streets. Township residents said he was shot in the legs, stomach and back.  

The man who shot Naing Lin had reportedly come to his house to request a letter granting him permission to leave the township, as is required by the military coup council, which limits the public’s freedom of movement.

“People who need recommendation letters and clearance to go to other townships need to go to the office,” a woman who lives in the ward said. “He was usually very strict about strangers coming to his house. They say the shooter was there for a permission-to-travel card. We heard about four to five gunshots,” she added, citing eyewitness accounts. 

The resident said that she was told Naing Lin was initially taken to the hospital for treatment but died there of his injuries.

“No one liked him, to be honest. He’d always accompany the soldiers who were patrolling the area in military vehicles. He’s also the one who led the arrest of protesters,” she told Myanmar Now. “We didn’t even think we had an administrator. Turns out, it was him.”

Naing Lin’s body was cremated at Aye Yate Nyein cemetery at noon on Wednesday, according to a social services group in the ward. 

In March, Naing Lin was appointed administrator of Minde Eikin by the junta authorities, who seized power in the country’s February 1 coup. Within the first month of Naing Lin’s tenure, the Minde Eikin administrative office was targeted in at least three incidents of arson, the last of which burnt the office down.

After that, he began to issue documents like recommendation letters and travel permission cards from his house instead. 

Myanmar Now tried to contact Naing Lin’s family members and other Aungmyethazan Township administrators but the calls went unanswered.

Explosions also reportedly took place on Tuesday at a Chanmyathazi Township ward administration office and the office of the township’s police chief, but no one was injured in the blasts, according to local residents. 

Assassinations of junta-appointed local administrators are on the rise across Myanmar, with several opting to resign rather than risk being targeted by the resistance for being military collaborators. 

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