Two alleged members of Pyu Saw Htee group shot dead in Dawei

Two people suspected of being members of the shadowy pro-military network Pyu Saw Htee were shot dead in Dawei District, Tanintharyi Region on Monday night by unidentified gunmen, villagers said. 

Two other men—also accused of being members of the group—were reportedly injured in the attack, which took place in Kanet Thiri village in Thayatchaung Township.

A local man told Myanmar Now that 40-year-old Hlaing Win and 30-year-old Taung Oo were killed when a group of armed men opened fire indiscriminately in their direction while they were guarding a pagoda. 

One of the injured men is Kanet Thiri’s junta-appointed village administrator and allegedly a member of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. Both were being treated at the Dawei military hospital. 

“These Pyu Saw Htee were a group formed by the village administrator. There were nine members. They had six guns. They patrolled the village every night. They fired their guns every night between 10 and 11pm for no apparent reason,” the local said.

He added that six of the alleged Pyu Saw Htee members had been seen wearing military uniforms, and that three others wore plainclothes while patrolling the village on motorcycles at night. 

Eight military trucks entered Kanet Thiri at around 1:30am after the two men were killed, bringing around 30 troops who stayed and occupied the village. 

“In the early morning, they interrogated us about who operated car services from the village to Dawei,” a local woman said.

Around 30 of the people detained for interrogation had been released, she said, but two young people from another village who had travelled to Kanet Thiri were still being questioned and allegedly beaten in junta custody.

Both the villagers who spoke to Myanmar Now said that the Pyu Saw Htee group, formed one month ago, had been known to extort money from locals. 

Since the February 1 military coup, four Kanet Thiri villagers have been arrested and imprisoned by the coup regime, including one member of the ousted National League for Democracy. Around 60 locals have been fined for various alleged violations and released, locals said. 

Kanet Thiri, located near the Dawei River, has a population of around 1,900. 

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