A motorbike rider was shot dead on Wednesday evening by Myanmar junta soldiers in Mandalay Region’s Meiktila Township.
The rider was on a bike with another man, when junta soldiers fired at them from in front of the military-owned Inwa bank at around 7:30pm.
Local residents confirmed the killing to The Irrawaddy.
“Soldiers from Inwa Bank fired at two young people on a motorbike. The one on the back was hit by two bullets in his back. He died on the spot. His friend drove away and escaped,” said a resident who witnessed the incident.
Since November, the junta has barred two males from riding together on a motorbike in some areas, especially those where resistance groups are most active, out of fear that regime forces could be attacked with grenades or bombs.
Townships where the ban is in force include Meikitla, Sagaing Region’s Monywa and Yangon Region’s Thanlyin and Hlaing Tharyar.
In Meiktila, local authorities imposed the ban after two soldiers died in a bomb attack by motorbike riders in October last year.
“Mostly, they fine people 30,000 to 50,000 kyats if they break the regulations. I cannot understand why they [junta forces] killed an unarmed civilian like that,” said another Meiktila resident who wished to remain anonymous.
The Irrawaddy was unable to verify the name of the murdered man and was unable to reach his family for comment.
Military regime forces also shot and killed a motorbike rider in Shwebo Township, Sagaing Region in November and another man from Monywa on December 2. Both victims were riding with another male on a motorbike.
As of Thursday, the junta has killed at least 1,579 civilians in their lethal crackdowns against the anti-regime movement and detained nearly 12,400 since last year’s February 1 coup, according to local monitoring group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
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