USDP district chair assassinated in Karen State

The chair of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) for Hpa-an District in Karen State was shot dead in his home on Thursday morning by an unidentified assailant, according to local sources.

Khun Aung Kyaw Moe, 46, sold electrical appliances out of his house in Thamanya village, more than 20 miles southeast of the Karen State capital of Hpa-an. The gunman had reportedly pretended to be a customer when he arrived at the home at 8am.

“The gunman shot him three times and then once more to make sure he was dead,” a local man said. “People started to crowd around the scene as soon as he was shot, but the assailant escaped. A moment later, an ambulance came to pick up the victim. He was still alive when the ambulance came, but he died on the way to the hospital.” 

At least 30 armed personnel, including troops from the Karen Border Guard Force under the military, arrived in Thamanya village in the afternoon and questioned Khun Aung Kyaw Moe’s family about the incident. 

“Nobody dares to go out in the streets anymore due to the fear of getting arrested,” the local said. 

No group has claimed responsibility for the assassination.  

Khun Aung Kyaw Moe’s house was attacked with a grenade three months ago, and anti-junta forces reportedly warned him multiple times not to associate with the Myanmar military. 

He was a USDP candidate in the 2020 general election, running for the position of Pa-O ethnic affairs minister in Karen State, but lost. 

After the February 2021 coup, he served as Thamanya’s junta-appointed village administrator. He remained in the position for three months before resigning, citing complaints from locals who objected to him taking on the role. 

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