YANGON — Two people were killed and three more injured in a shooting by a policeman on Sunday in northern Shan State’s Kutkai Township, another police officer from the area’s Myoma station told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.
The deceased were two men, aged 43 and 25 respectively, he said, under the condition of anonymity, adding that the shooting occurred in Kutkai’s Ward 3.
“We arrested [the shooter] on the spot after we received the information,” the officer said, adding that the arrested individual held the rank of ‘private.’
“An investigation is continuing under Act 302/307,” he added, referring to the criminal codes for murder and attempted murder.
U Kham Nyunt, a township elder and chair of the Ta’ang Literature and Culture Committee of Kutkai said that the area has long struggled with drug abuse and trafficking. Police representatives acknowledged this, however, said that no drugs were seized at the scene of the crime.
Mal Mai, an ethnic Kachin youth leader in Kutkai, said that her 20-year-old cousin was among those wounded in the shooting, and that he was in recovery in a hospital in Lashio.
She also said that she “assumed” that the violence was somehow “drug-related.”
“Every household [here] suffers from drug-related problems,” Mal Mai said.
Myanmar ranks as the second largest producer of opium in the world, behind Afghanistan, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.