NLD parliamentarians arrested in pre-dawn Myanmar military raid on Magway Township village

Two deposed National League for Democracy (NLD) parliamentarians hiding from the junta’s forces in Magway Region were among nearly 30 people arrested by the military this week from an area located at the confluence of the Ayeyarwady River and the Mone Chaung, a local stream.

Before dawn on Sunday, more than 100 regime troops began raiding Shar Taw in eastern Pwintbyu Township, shooting rifles and forcing residents out of their homes, according to a man who escaped the assault.

During the attack, Tun Tun, Pwintbyu’s elected NLD MP, and Win Win, a legislator for neighbouring Minbu, were apprehended by the soldiers along with one of the NLD’s officers for Salin Township, Phoe Kyaw. 

Taken with Win Win were his wife and three children, the youngest of whom is four years old, the local man said, adding that at the time of reporting, it was not known where they were being held.

“We all started to flee in different directions when we realised that we had been surrounded,” he told Myanmar Now. “Win Win’s family was captured first, then Tun Tun. I was running between the two of them and I was one of the only ones who managed to escape as the military emptied one magazine [of ammunition] after another.”

In addition to the two MPs, the family members, and the NLD officer, two villagers—Maung Nyo and Ko Tun—were also detained for sheltering them. 

“[The junta troops] tortured the people they captured very badly. The victims were blindfolded and were beaten with rifle butts and were kicked with military boots,” the local man explained. “They threatened to torch the villages in the area, so the people had no choice but to flee, even though it’s now harvest time. I don’t even know how the villagers managed to escape. All I saw was us running and the military chasing us, firing guns.” 

While the majority of the raiding soldiers left the area after apprehending the NLD personnel, a small occupying force remained in Shar Taw for at least three days. 

Several more locals in hiding were arrested by these soldiers while attempting to escape the village, including 15 civilians on Monday and three striking education staff on Tuesday. 

One of the detained MPs, Tun Tun, was previously charged with incitement and arrested in an earlier raid in March 2021, one month after the coup that ousted the NLD government. He managed to escape, but the military proceeded to capture his wife and niece in late April that year, charging them with terrorism and sentencing them to 15 years in prison. 

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