Junta troops shoot two brothers dead in Magway Region

Two brothers were shot and killed and four other men were arrested in a Myanmar army raid on a village in Magway Region’s Taungdwingyi Township on Sunday. 

Eyewitnesses said that the plainclothes troops arrived in Taung Lyaung village at 1pm, hours after a Mytel telecoms tower—a company partially owned by the military—was blown up seven miles away in another Taungdwingyi Township village, Koke Ko Kone. 

“They came because of reports from informants from the village. They did not use military cars,” one of the witnesses told Myanmar Now. “Young people were gathered in a yard. They surrounded them. They shot one of the young people twice, tied him up with a rope, and assaulted him.” 

The two men who were killed were 36-year-old Myat Soe Lwin and his younger brother, Pyae Gyi, 20. The four others who were arrested were in the yard at the time of the raid, the eyewitnesses said. It is not known where they were taken. 

Much of Taung Lyaung’s population of 2,000 people reportedly fled the village when the incident occurred. 

While no group had claimed responsibility for destroying the Mytel tower in Taungdwingyi Township at the time of reporting, more than 70 Mytel towers were targeted between June and mid-September in Sagaing, Magway and Mandalay regions as well as in Karenni (Kayah) and Shan states—part of the armed resistance campaign against the military and its infrastructure. 

On September 7, the same day that the National Unity Government declared war on the junta, RFA reported that some 11 towers used by Mytel were destroyed by guerrilla groups in just one township in Sagaing Region, Budalin. 

Prior to the February 1 military coup, Mytel had around 10m users and was the second biggest of Myanmar’s four mobile phone network operators. It is a joint venture between Viettel, which is owned by Vietnam’s Ministry of Defence, and the Myanmar military. 

A December 2020 report by activist group Justice for Myanmar called for a boycott of the company and accused Viettel and Mytel of “aid[ing] and abet[ting] the Myanmar military’s continuing war crimes and crimes against humanity” by providing the army with “off-budget revenue” and “access to technology and training.”

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