Soldiers take 13-year-old boy hostage in bid to force his father to hand himself in 

Police took a 13-year-old boy hostage from a village in Mandalay’s Amarapura Township on Sunday when they were unable to find and arrest his father, who is a local member of the National League for Democracy (NLD). locals said. 

The police officers also badly beat the wife of Htay Aung, who is in hiding after fleeing his village of Kantaw.   

“The wife was covered in blood from their beatings,” said a local man who wanted to remain anonymous. “When the family went to the junta’s administrator to ask about the child, they told them that they would release the kid if the father turned himself in.” 

The boy was reportedly being held at Myitnge police station as of Wednesday.

Another villager said it was unclear why junta authorities are targeting Htay Aung. “The man is not even a party leader, he’s just a regular member,” the local said. “We don’t know why they were looking for him so desperately. Our best guess is that a military informant named him.”

In October, soldiers put up notices containing death threats at the local administration office in the Yay Kyi Pauk village tract, where Kantaw is situated. The notice ordered teachers taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) to return to work, the two locals said.

Villagers tore up the notices and were later beaten by soldiers for doing so, they added. 

Last week the same thing happened in the nearby village of Leik San Khun; villagers tore up notices containing death threats to teachers who refuse to return to work and were then beaten by soldiers.  

The Mandalay regional police force did not answer calls seeking comment on the detained boy. 

The coup regime has taken dozens of family members hostage, including young children, in a bid to force its opponents to give themselves up in recent months. 

Last week a man was killed in detention after junta authorities in Madaya Township detained him because they were unable to find his nephew. 

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