Khaing Min | DMG
3 July, Kyaukphyu

A 67-year-old man was shot dead last week by the Tatmadaw in Kyaukphyu Township, with the military accusing him of being a member of the Arakan Army (AA), according to his family.

The victim was U Kyokyar Oo, a farmer from Kyaukpyu Township in Arakan State, his wife told DMG.

On June 30, fighting took place as the AA staged a mine attack on a military convoy heading to Kyaukphyu to withdraw salaries for the local military unit, near Sittaw village in Kyaukphyu Township, according to the Tatmadaw True News Information Team.

The Tatmadaw seized the dead body of an AA member and materials used in the mine-planting operation, the statement from the military’s public relations outfit said.

“A mine exploded and then shootings took place. The spot where the incident took place is not so far from our paddy field. Shots were fired at my husband who was ploughing,” said Daw Pu Kyi Ma, the victim’s widow. “ He fell down due to the gunfire. I wanted to rush to my husband, but I did not do so as I feared that I might get shot. They pointed a gun at me as I tried to run away.”

U Kyokyar Oo’s body was transported from the scene by a military-owned vehicle. Daw Pu Kyi Ma said she was arrested and detained at the Thitpoketaung camp for one night before being transferred to the Kyaukphyu Myoma police station, where police eventually released her.

U Kyokyar Oo’s family wants to take his body back to his home village of Pyartae for cremation.

DMG phoned Major-General Tun Tun Nyi and Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team seeking comment on the allegations made by the family members of the victim, but they could not be reached.

Twelve people — 10 men and two women — were detained near where Tuesday’s shooting broke out. They were to be transferred to Kyaukphyu Myoma police station for further investigation, according to the military statement dated June 30. The Tatmadaw reportedly released the 12 detainees on July 1.

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