Junta soldiers overrun multiple Mandalay wards following the killing of army sergeant

Junta troops raided homes in several wards and arrested at least five people in Mandalay after an off-duty army sergeant was shot dead in the city by urban guerrilla fighters early Tuesday morning, according to locals.

Forty-year-old Myo Htwe was visiting his mother in Maha Aungmyay Township’s Aung Chan Thar ward when he was killed by members of the Generation Z Power, a resistance group which claimed responsibility for the assassination. The targeted officer was shot five times, in the chest, head, and arms, an eyewitness said.

Junta troops arrived at the scene of the shooting soon after and conducted searches of nearly every house in the ward, residents told Myanmar Now. 

A man living in Aung Chan Thar said that the raids started from three wards: his own, as well as Than Nauk and Sein Pan, with armed troops blocking off several areas of the city. 

“They sealed off all corners of the wards. People could only enter but they couldn’t leave their wards. There were hundreds of them, and police trucks with cages,” the local said on the condition of anonymity. 

He explained that the soldiers entered his house by force and asked how many people lived there.

“They made us open our chests of drawers, rummaged through our beds and through the whole house. Only after they looked through everything they wanted did they even ask what we did for a living,” the local said.

Soldiers reportedly questioned residents further if any of the family members registered at the address were not present during the search.

According to several Mandalay residents, soldiers arrested at least five youth from checkpoints on the city’s roads on Tuesday afternoon. The identities of those taken into junta custody could not be independently verified at the time of reporting. 

Two of the individuals were reportedly detained near the intersection of 56th and 135th streets in Pyigyitagon Township, around seven miles from where the army sergeant was shot. Three others were arrested in nearby Chanmyathazi Township.

“There were lots of soldiers moving around the city. They interrogated everyone they saw. It seemed like they were looking for something,” a Mandalay local who witnessed the searches in Chanmyathazi said. 

Another resident of the city said she saw armed troops conducting searches in a ward she passed through on Tuesday afternoon.

“There were both plainclothes officers and uniformed ones. The ones in plainclothes were holding similar batons. Their faces were so tense,” the individual said, adding, “I had to walk through that crowd because it was impossible for me to avoid them. I was so afraid thinking they could harm me.”

During the second week of June, local guerrilla groups in Mandalay attacked at least eight junta targets, including in three bombings carried out in Maha Aungmyay, the same township where the army sergeant was killed. Generation Z Power claimed responsibility for those attacks as well.

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