Myanmar Military Arrests 2 Brothers over Attack on Defense Academy

By Htet Naing Zaw 26 August 2019

NAYPYITAW—The Military Security Affairs unit has arrested two brothers suspected of involvement in the Aug. 15 attack on the Defense Services Technological Academy in Pyin Oo Lwin Township of Mandalay Region. 

Ethnic Shan brothers Sai Khun Mai and Sai Lin Sink, both of whom are teachers at a free school for Shan children in Kunhing Township in southern Shan State, were arrested by the Naypyitaw-based Military Security Affairs unit, their father Sai Saw Hla told The Irrawaddy. 

“They said they suspect my sons were involved in the incident that occurred in Pyin Oo Lwin,” said Sai Saw Hla, who was himself interrogated at Pyin Oo Lwin Township Police Station. 

Sai Khun Mai was arrested on the evening of Aug. 17, and his brother Sai Lin Sink was taken for interrogation on Aug. 19, he said. 

The brothers returned from the school in Kunhing to their home some 7 miles south of Pyin Oo Lwin on Aug. 15, the day the attack took place. 

“They came back to take a rest. But, as they returned on the day of the attack, it caused a misunderstanding,” Sai Saw Hla said. 

Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw), told The Irrawaddy he did not have any details about the arrest. 

A joint force of fighters from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Arakan Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army launched coordinated attacks on six places including the academy in Pyin Oo Lwin on Aug. 15. 

Rebel fighters blew up the Goke Twin Bridge in Shan State’s Naung Cho Township on the same day, prompting area clearance operations by the Tatmadaw. The bridge formed part of the Union Highway, the major route for border trade between China and Myanmar. 

When asked by members of the media at a press conference on Friday about speculation that a powerful entity orchestrated the attacks from behind the scenes, a Tatmadaw spokesperson said the military could not confirm the reports.

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