The Irrawaddy

Man Shot Dead When Group Confronts Police With Swords

MANDALAY — Police in Mandalay opened fire on a group of young men who allegedly attacked them with swords on Thursday night, killing one and injuring another.

Colonel Myo Aung, the Mandalay District police chief, said the officers were set upon after arresting two suspected robbers at the Swedaw truck station in Amarapura Township.

“A group of young men with swords came and said they were angry with the police who arrested their friends and challenged the police,” the chief said.

“They attacked the police when they were told to drop their weapons. Then the police had to open fire to disperse them. However, one of them died and one was injured in his cheek,” he added.

Police said Ko San Htoo Aung, the injured man, was admitted to Mandalay General Hospital for treatment and that he was being sued for illegal weapons possession and attacking police.

Police also said they were searching for the other 20 men who attacked the officers but escaped.

Although the crime rate in Mandalay has not risen significantly of late, police say the area’s thieves, robbers and other criminals were growing increasingly fond of wielding knives and swords to scare their victims.

In the past week alone in Mandalay a gold shop was robbed, a group of sword-wielding men broke through the gate of a home and stole a motorcycle, and a group of men were fighting with swords in the street.

Police records say a group of men in their 20s with swords who stole at least 10 motorcycles was arrested in recent days and is being sued for theft, robbery and illegal weapons possession.

“We care about the concerns people have raised, so we’ve increased security, especially at night, and are cooperating with division police,” Col. Myo Aung said. “Most of the arrested people are in their twenties, and we found out that they are unemployed, have little education and have a strong desire to make easy money because they want to spend like a boss. They’ve admitted to the crimes.”