Three members of Arakan Liberation Party shot dead in Rakhine State capital

The organisation’s vice chair was among the victims of the attack, which was carried out by unidentified assailants

Three members of one of the factions of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), an ethnic Rakhine political and armed organisation, were shot dead in Sittwe, Rakhine State on July 1, the group has confirmed.

The victims included ALP vice chair Khaing Ni Yaung, battalion commander of the group’s Battalion 1 Khaing Kyaw Min, and Pvt Kyaw Kyaw Naing. They were leaving the ALP’s office in Sat Yone Hsu ward by car at around noon when they were targeted by unidentified gunmen in another vehicle at the Mingin intersection near Sittwe University. 

A July 2 statement by the party accused the Arakan Army of carrying out the attack on its members, who belonged to an ALP bloc headed by Saw Mra Razar Lin. Known for her close relationship to the military council and participation in junta “peace talks,” she was formally expelled by another wing of the party in March but has continued to maintain a faction of the ALP under her leadership.

AA spokesperson Khaing Thukha told Myanmar Now the ALP’s accusation was “baseless” and that his armed organisation was not involved in the assassination. He instead speculated that it was due to an internal party conflict “based on personal grudges.”

He also claimed that the ALP had been harassing people in Sittwe and extorting money from civilians, and that members of the public might have been motivated to attack its members; the July 1 shootings follow rumours that the military council had been planning to convert the small 100-troop army of Saw Mra Razar Lin’s ALP into a Border Guard Force under its command.

The ALP did not respond to Myanmar Now’s requests for comment.

On January 4, three other ALP leaders—Gen Khaing Soe Mya, Brig-Gen Khaing Kyaw Soe and Cpt Khaing Thurein Da—were shot and killed near their party office after returning from junta-sponsored Independence Day commemoration. The ALP accused the AA of their murders, but the AA denied any involvement. 

However, past abductions of ALP members by the AA have been confirmed. Lt-Col Khaing Paw Lin, a member of the party’s central executive committee who attended talks with the military in June of last year, was arrested by the AA from his home last August.

The AA has stated that he remains in their custody. 

In 2020, several ALP members were detained by the ethnic armed organisation for periods ranging from just over a week to more than six months.

The party, founded in the 1960s, has around 1,000 members.

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