Almost 370 Myanmar Junta Officials Assassinated Since Coup

By The Irrawaddy 2 February 2022

Almost 370 junta-appointed officials have been assassinated in targeted attacks since last year’s February 1 coup, while over 300 have been wounded, according to junta boss Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

The coup leader made the comments on Monday while addressing a meeting of the National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) in the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw.

Snr-Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said that his regime had faced 9,437 “terrorist” attacks from February 1 2021 to January 20 of this year. Those incidents included the assassination of 367 junta administration officials and the wounding of 336 more.

The majority of those killed and wounded are junta-appointed township, ward and village administrators targeted for collaborating with the regime. A total of 456 telecom towers were also destroyed in attacks, most of them belonging to the army-owned Mytel, one of four telecom operators in Myanmar, as resistance groups try to cut the amount of revenue flowing to the junta.

Snr-Gen. Min Aung Hlaing also claimed that the attacks and high number of deaths was one of the reasons why the “state of emergency” needed to be extended for another six months, also citing the ongoing instability in some parts of the country. The regime’s acting president, U Myint Swe, approved the six month extension of military rule at the meeting.

The junta boss also blamed the National League for Democracy (NLD) Party for the attacks, saying in his speech to the NDSC that “extremist NLD members and their followers utilize the youths, formed the unlawful Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and parallel government called National Unity Government to provide assistance for terrorist attacks and to lead those movements”.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the NLD said it will continue to work together with all stakeholders to uproot the military dictatorship from Myanmar’s soil and to return state power to its original owner, the people. Since the coup, the military regime has arrested 686 NLD members, including its leaders Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint and another 197 elected lawmakers. At least 14 NLD members have died while in military custody.

The NLD also pledged to bring the junta to justice for its crimes committed against civilians including widespread arrests, torture, and the murder of innocent people throughout the Union, which amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Armed resistance to the military regime began in late March with civilian groups using homemade and traditional firearms to fight back against the junta’s brutal crackdowns and raids on peaceful anti-coup protesters, striking civil servants, and any opponents of military rule.

Since then, military-run businesses, local administration offices and government buildings have been torched or bombed by resistance fighters to prevent the regime from governing the country.

On Monday, Snr-Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said that over 4,338 people have been arrested for targeting junta officials, offices and buildings up to January 20.

On Tuesday, as the Myanmar people marked the first anniversary of the coup by observing a silent strike, resistance groups in Yangon launched attacks on junta targets in 11 townships including Sanchaung, South Dagon, Tamwe, Taikkyi, Hmawbi, Shwepyithar, Thaketa, Dala, Insein, Hlegu and Hlaing Tharyar townships. No casualties have been confirmed.

At least 1,507 civilians have been killed by junta forces since the coup including children, students, pro-democracy protesters, politicians and striking civil servants. Over 11,900 people have been detained, according to rights group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

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