SITTWE, Rakhine State—Two decapitated male bodies were found in the middle of a market in Kan Htaung Gyi Town in Rakhine State’s Myebon Township on Tuesday.
The two men appeared to have been killed at another location and deliberately dumped in a highly visible place. The victims, whose heads were placed on their bodies, were identified as ethnic Arakanese men U Nyi Nyi Htwe, a resident of Kan Htaung Gyi’s southern ward, and U Maung Laung of Thae Kan Htaung Village in Ann Township, said Police Sergeant Kyaw Mya Than of Kan Htaung Gyi Police Station.
“The bodies were found at around 6 a.m. near the market. That’s all we know for the time being,” he told The Irrawaddy.
One of the bodies was found with a knife protruding from its chest, and both victims’ ears had been cut off. According to local residents, the lack of blood at the scene indicated that the two were brought to the market after being murdered, in order to be displayed.
“They can’t have been murdered there. There are also lampposts at the site. It’s impossible that they were beheaded in the town center. They might have been put there for the public to see after they were murdered,” a local resident told The Irrawaddy on condition of anonymity.
“This is inhumane. Only the unlawful associations would commit such brutal killings. We are still investigating and can’t confirm anything yet,” Rakhine State police chief Police Colonel Kyi Linn told The Irrawaddy.
The incident brings to 13 the number of brutal, unsolved murders of civilians in northern Rakhine State since December.
On Sept. 1, a grocery owner and his wife were stabbed to death in their shop near a police outpost in Kyauktaw Township. On Aug. 5, an acting village-tract administrator and a 100-household administrator were reportedly abducted by a group of men on their return from a Muslim village in Kyauktaw. The two were found dead the following day.
On July 5, a man and his son-in-law were shot dead by three unknown armed men in their house in Myebon Township.
A village administrator was gunned down in his home in Myebon Township on June 18, and on March 5, a member of a village administration body was stabbed to death inside his shop in Kyauktaw.
On Feb. 12, a member of a village administration body was shot dead in Minbya Township. The incident followed the Jan. 22 shooting death of a villager in Minbya Township. And on Dec. 24 last year, U Khin Maung Than, a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Arakan League for Democracy, was shot dead at his home in Myebon Township.
No suspects or motives have been identified in any of the killings.
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