Myanmar army raids Mandalay village where junta-appointed administrator was killed

Around 50 Myanmar army soldiers raided the village of Hintharma in Mandalay’s Singu Township on Monday morning following the assassination of the community’s junta-appointed administrator one day earlier, according to local sources.

Khin Maung Than, 50, was assigned to his post by the junta after the February coup and shot dead on Sunday, villagers from Hintharma said. 

“The wife of the deceased administrator called the military and they arrived on motorboats at around 11 am,” a villager said. 

Hintharma lies near the banks of the Irrawaddy River. 

The villager said that the troops disembarked from the boats and proceeded toward Hintharma on motorbikes, forcing four locals to run ahead of them as human shields. 

“The administrator’s wife started pointing at the households that she’d had a bad relationship with and the military destroyed the houses she pointed at,” the villager told Myanmar Now. 

Soldiers demolished four houses, reducing one to “a pile of wood,” according to the local man. 

They reportedly stole rice, cooking oil, diesel fuel and cash from a shop in Hintharma, as well as a locally-owned motorboat, before leaving. 

Troops also removed nine engines from boats used by local fishermen, and destroyed some of the boats docked at the river port, villagers said. 

Myanmar Now has been unable to independently verify the details of the assault on Hintharma, and military spokespersons have not answered calls for comment. 

Most of the residents of Hintharma’s 1,200 households fled the village on Sunday immediately following the killing of Khin Maung Than, fearing retribution from the military. They returned to their homes later that evening and were present at the time of Monday’s raid. 

Another villager said that the late administrator had been seen accompanying junta troops in previous raids on the village, and was a known collaborator with the military administration. 

“The administrator used to summon the soldiers to carry out raids on the village,” he said. “Even the troughs for the cows were destroyed. He caused the village so much trouble. Our villagers had to flee the village five times in total because of him.” 

No one had claimed responsibility for Khin Maung Than’s murder at the time of reporting, but armed resistance groups nationwide have been carrying out targeted assassinations of those accused of collaborating with the coup regime.

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