Unidentified gunmen kill man outside Myingyan home in alleged ‘hit’ intended for his father

A group of armed assailants shot two men outside the house of a former ward administrator in Mandalay Region’s Myingyan Township on Tuesday evening, killing one man and injuring the other.

The eight gunmen arrived on motorcycles at the house in Ward 20 at around 8pm, according to Ko Ni, the 59-year-old homeowner and once an administrator appointed by the National League for Democracy (NLD) government. 

Ko Ni told Myanmar Now that he believed he was the intended target, but the gunmen shot his 30-year-old son, Min Htet Ko, and Ko Ni’s 50-year-old brother, Ko Ko Aye, in the yard when they were unable to locate him. 

“They were looking for me. They shot my son because they couldn’t find me,” Ko Ni said. 

He told Myanmar Now that Min Htet Ko died from a gunshot wound to the stomach. Ko Ko Aye was being treated at Mandalay General Hospital. 

Min Htet Ko’s funeral was held on Thursday. He is survived by his wife, 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. 

Ko Ni had recently arrived back home after four months in hiding. He was charged by the military council with incitement for violating Section 505a of the penal code due to his participation in anti-junta activities, but the charge was withdrawn in July after he pledged to end his involvement in the movement. 

Since his return, he had been doing charity work, and is the chair of a local blood donors’ association. 

“I only came back home because the military council told me that they would consider withdrawing my charges if I did charity work, which they actually did,” he told Myanmar Now. “I was helping send patients to Mandalay, even Covid-19 patients, and I have also been helping with oxygen supplies and blood donations. I have been doing this volunteer work for a long time.” 

He did not elaborate on how his charge was withdrawn or on what grounds. 

“Everybody in Myingyan loves me. The entire town came to my son’s funeral. I don’t know which organisation orchestrated the attack, but I’ll just assume it’s not the authorities this time,” Ko Ni continued.

He said that police officers arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting and that his brother was sent to hospital with the help of the military. 

Myanmar Now is unable to confirm which group carried out the attack. 

A source close to Ko Ni said that locals have speculated that the murder was perpetrated by the Pyu Saw Htee, a shadowy group with pro-military ties that has published a “hit list” in Myingyan. The list reportedly includes the names of NLD leaders and supporters; two such individuals were previously murdered in the township. Ko Ni’s name was not included on the list.

“I keep hearing that it was done by the Pyu Saw Htee. I’m sure it wasn’t the resistance groups,” the source said, referring to the People’s Defence Forces and affiliated anti-coup guerrilla groups.  

The source noted that the blood donors’ association of which Ko Ni is the chair is well-liked by the general public throughout the district, and that he is respected for his role in the organisation. 

The police in Myingyan did not respond to requests for comment on the incident. 

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