Burma

Myanmar Police Captain Killed as Convoy Hit by Mine Blasts in Rakhine

By Min Aung Khine 21 August 2019

SITTWE, Rakhine State—A police convoy was hit by two mine blasts in Rakhine State’s Ponnagyun Township in broad daylight on Tuesday, killing a police captain and wounding four constables. The blasts came a day after a Myanmar military sergeant was killed when a shell apparently fired by the military struck his home in the state’s Minbya Township.

The convoy from Kyaukphyu-based No. 32 Police Battalion was struck by the mines as it was traveling to the state capital Sittwe from Kyauktaw, Colonel Win Zaw Oo, a spokesperson for the Myanmar military’s Western Command, told The Irrawaddy.

The first blast occurred at the boundary of Kyauktaw and Ponnagyun townships; the second occurred near the village of Pyaing Chaung, around 63 kilometers from the scene of the first attack.

The injured were rushed to a hospital but the police captain died on the way, Col. Win Zaw Oo said. “Some vehicles were damaged,” he added.

Security forces conducted clearance operations in the area following the mine blasts, he said.

The attack on the police convoy followed the stabbing of Kyauktaw Township’s police chief on Monday evening. Police Major Saw Than Lwin was attacked near the township’s jetty, and is still receiving medical treatment at a hospital. Rakhine State police chief Police Colonel Kyi Lin said no suspect had yet been identified.

Also on Monday, a soldier from the Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw) was killed and his wife was injured when an artillery shell struck their house in Rakhine State’s Minbya Township, the victim’s family members told The Irrawaddy.

The victim, Sergeant Hla Tun, 50, was serving in Light Infantry Battalion No. 537 based in Rathedaung Township, and took leave on Aug. 16 to take care of his ailing mother-in-law in his native Minbya, the family members said.

“I heard the sound of [artillery fire] at around 9.10 p.m. on Monday. My sister shouted that something burning had struck the house. I ran upstairs and found my brother-in-law lying there, barely conscious. My sister was wounded on her left arm,” the soldier’s brother-in-law told The Irrawaddy.

Sgt. Hla Tun died shortly after. His wife, Daw Than Than, is receiving medical treatment at Minbya Public Hospital. “We were sleeping at the time. The military fired from Kyein Taung Hill. I don’t know why. I could still hear small arms fire as I was being taken to the hospital,” Daw Than Than told The Irrawaddy.

Kyein Taung Hill is adjacent to downtown Minbya.

The Irrawaddy was not able to contact the Minbya Township administrator or police chief. Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team said he was unaware of the sergeant’s death.

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