Owner of SP Bakery company snatched by unidentified armed men in Mogok 

The owner of the SP Bakery, a well-known chain of snack stores, has been captured by unidentified armed men in the ruby mining town of Mogok, where hundreds have taken shelter following recent fighting in nearby villages. 

Kyaw Win, who lives in the town, was snatched on Friday morning at the Aung Chan Thar market, said the chief officer at Mogok central police station, who declined to give his name. 

“The police are still investigating it,” he said. 

Three men got out of a white car parked near the market and grabbed Kyaw Win, a local who was nearby at the time told Myanmar Now. 

“He wouldn’t go along so they took out the pistol,” said the witness, who requested anonymity.

Naing Ngan Kyaw, the Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Mogok township, told Myanmar Now that he spoke to Kyaw Win near the market at around 8:30am and learned of his capture an hour later.

Kyaw Win’s family members could not immediately be reached for comment. 

In October, a 50-year-old woman was kidnapped by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in Mogok and was released after a ransom of 300 lakhs.

Major Tar Aik Kyaw, a spokesperson for the TNLA, could not be reached for comment. 

More than a thousand people arrived in Mogok to seek shelter last week after the TNLA clashed with the Myanmar military on the nearby Dat Taw hill near the village of Chaung Gyi A Lal.

“My mom did not dare to sleep,” Ah Nge Lay, a 25-year-old from Kyauk Pon village who fled the area after her family heard gunshots, told Myanmar Now. 

“The whole family was trembling, also the entire village was so scared as we were hearing the noises of the gunshots.”

The displaced villagers are sheltering at monasteries, churches and in the homes of relatives. 

Saw Thaung Tin, the State Hluttaw member representing Mogok, told Myanmar Now last week that both the TNLA and the Tatmadaw suffered casualties during the November 24 clash. 

The military also took some TNLA soldiers captive, he added. 

The TNLA began operating in Mogok at the beginning of November, which scared residents in several villages near the town and prompted hundreds to leave for Mogok to avoid being caught up in fighting or being targeted by the TNLA.

Ye Min Htwe, a displaced villager from Shan Kone San who fled to the Shwe Gu Kyi monastery in Mogok, said TNLA soldiers often interrogate villagers they suspect of being drug dealers or users. 

“I’m not sure if I can return to my village yet,” he said. “The military is provoking the TNLA, there’ll be more clashes.” 

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