Fear has taken hold of a village in northern Shan State after unidentified assailants opened fire on their headman.
Gunmen shot Shwe Pa, the leader of Nam Salap, in his head and neck when he returned from sending children to school at about 8am on June 19. The headman survived the attack and is receiving medical care in a hospital in Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay Region.
A man from the village in Hsenwi Township told SHAN it was the first time an assassination attempt happened in the area.
“I don’t feel safe anymore,” said another man, asking for his name not to be published.
Shwe Pa, 40, was elected by villagers five years ago. He owns a gas station and a restaurant.
The villagers don’t have any idea why anyone would want Shwe Pa dead. Another source from the village, however, speculated if it had something to do with one of his businesses.
There are several armed groups active in Hsenwi Township. Burma Army soldiers also patrol Nam Salap. Since the coup, there have been several cases of unidentified gunmen murdering civilians in the township.
In Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State, armed forces in plainclothes have arrested many civilians, including a minor.
On June 20, armed forces arrested a 16-year-old from Wah Pyar Myauk ward. On the same day, they arrested Maung Aung Myo Oo near Taunggyi University.
“They broke into his home and tried to drag him out. When he refused, they beat him until he was bloody,” according to an eyewitness.
Armed forces arrived in two vehicles to arrest Ko Thant Zin Tun in his home in Kyauk Gyi Su ward-9.
“Ten police officers climbed a brick wall (to enter the house) and arrest Ko Thant Zin Tun. They searched his house; I don’t know why they arrested him,” his relative Thant Zin Tun told SHAN.
According to locals, armed forces wearing plainclothes and driving non-military vehicles are arresting residents who participated in the protest movement during the daytime and at night in the township.