Soldiers raid aerospace university in Meiktila

At least 20 soldiers carried out a raid on the Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University in Meiktila early Sunday morning, according to students at the university.

The raid took place at around 2:30am, when the soldiers arrived in three military vehicles and smashed open a lock on the gate at the entrance to the university campus.

They were immediately confronted by teachers and other university staff and left after about half an hour, a student who witnessed the incident told Myanmar Now.

“We think they came to arrest the rector. But before they could reach the staff housing area, they ran into the teachers and staff of the university,” he said.

He added that the teachers were told to “behave intelligently” and were warned not to share CCTV footage of the raid or anything else that could “damage the reputation of the Tatmadaw.”

Video of the raid captured by security cameras was reportedly deleted.

Almost all of the university’s instructors and other staff are said to have joined the nationwide civil disobedience movement against military rule.

A military spokesman could not be reached for comment on the raid, which came days after a similar attempt to arrest the rector of Mandalay Medical University last Thursday.

Late-night raids have taken place throughout the country, targeting government ministers, election officials, and senior public servants opposed to the military takeover on February 1. 

Meiktila is regarded as a military stronghold. Because of its strategic position in central Myanmar, the city is home to the central command of the Myanmar Air Force.

On Friday, knife-wielding thugs supporting the military ransacked a restaurant in the city after accusing diners of banging pots and pans in defiance of last week’s coup. 

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