Retired Myanmar army captain assassinated in Naypyitaw

The acting chair of the Tatkon Township branch of the Myanmar War Veterans Association was shot dead at this home in Naypyitaw over the weekend, with a local anti-junta defence force claiming responsibility for the act. 

Retired military captain Thein Myint, 60, owned a bakery at his home in Bo Min Yaung ward, and was reportedly shot four times in the head and abdomen on Sunday.

Naypyitaw-based resistance group Fight for Justice-Tatkon released a statement claiming that they had killed Thein Myint using two 9mm guns. 

“Someone came by asking about the snacks he sold, the prices and such,” a source close to the group told Myanmar Now. “They talked with his wife first. Then they said they wanted to talk to the captain and when she opened the door to the room he was in, the inquirer disappeared and the shooter immediately went into the room and shot him.”

In their statement, the resistance force alleged that the late captain was an important member of the junta-allied Pyu Saw Htee network and had been financing the group. 

Fight for Justice-Tatkon vowed to continue to take action against “junta stooges.” 

The source close to the armed group alleged that Thein Myint had been a known opponent of the anti-dictatorship protests that swept the nation last year following the February 1 coup. 

“He said that the people couldn’t live in peace because of the protesters,” the source said, referring to letters reportedly written to military contacts by the deceased captain. 

Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify the resistance force’s allegations against Thein Myint, and the Tatkon central police station did not answer three separate calls inquiring about the shooting.

Some 18 civilians from Tatkon—including local business owners and social welfare volunteers—were arrested by the junta following Thein Myint’s assassination on the suspicion that they were involved in the murder or had ties to the anti-dictatorship movement, according to locals. 

A resident of Bo Min Yaung ward said that a bomb also went off near Thein Myint’s home when another military officer, accompanied by troops and two army vehicles, came to visit his family later that night. No one was injured, the local said. 

The office of the Tatkon Township branch of the veterans’ organisation was locked and closed after Thein Myint’s murder, another local told Myanmar Now. 

During a speech at a November conference for the Myanmar War Veterans Organisation, coup leader Min Aung Hlaing acknowledged that the group’s members had been assisting the military in “security matters.” 

An ex-military officer from Sagaing Region’s Katha Township told Myanmar Now in October of last year that the military council had been offering financial incentives for retired army officers in the region to return to active military service. The move has been described as an attempt by the junta to replenish its armed forces’ ranks in order to re-occupy areas controlled by the resistance. 

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