YANGON— Two people including the local chair of the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) in Magwe were hacked to death by a group of military-aligned Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) members on Friday, local residents said.
The attack by the USDP members came after villagers protested against military council members when they visited villages in Pwint Phyu Township. An NLD member in Khaung Gone Village told The Irrawaddy, “When members of the military council came, USDP members welcomed them. So, there was a small fight between the two sides.”
During the fight, USDP supporters called police and military personnel to arrest pro-democracy supporters. Later, security forces came and fired three shots to break up the crowd, according to a live broadcast by the residents.
“But that night they were unable to make any arrests, as the villagers beat pots and pans to alert each other,” the NLD member said.
Next morning at around 9:30 a.m., nearly two dozen USDP members attacked a group of villagers while they were coming back from a friend’s house. During the attack, U Htway Naing, 53, the NLD’s local chair, and his nephew Ko Nan Wai Aung, 17, were killed by sword- and machete-wielding men, and another two people were seriously injured.
“They not only hacked them to death, but also dragged their bodies into a house. We were not able to pick up the dead bodies,” another NLD member in Khaung Gone Village told The Irrawaddy.
Later, police and military personnel tried to take the dead bodies without arresting the suspects, the resident said. The villagers blocked police vehicles and prevented them from carrying away the bodies without arresting the suspects.
“The army and police told the crowd to disperse and not to interfere with their duties. But we insisted they arrest the suspects first. Later, they had to arrest 11 suspects at the scene,” he said.
The villagers alleged that U Kyaw Khine Oo, a former USDP candidate for the Lower House, was among the attackers. He lost to the NLD candidate for Pwint Phyu Township in the Nov. 8 election.
“He and other criminals have still not been arrested by the police. The family are planning to open a case today,” the witness said.
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