Boy killed as Thai police open fire on smuggler's truck

Feb 28, 2008 (DVB), A 10-year old Arakanese boy was killed when Thai police opened fire on a truck carrying illegal Burmese migrants in Hat Yai, Thailand, the boy’s mother said.

The truck, which was smuggling 28 illegal Burmese immigrants across the Thai border into Malaysia, came under fire from Thai police upon as it entered Hat Yai on Tuesday evening after the driver refused to stop at a police checkpoint.

Maung Oo Min Soe, a 10-year-old boy from Arakan state’s Kyauktaw township, was hit by a bullet and killed instantly while his mother and two others were injured, according to Daw Phyu, the boy's mother.

Daw Phyu said the driver, a Thai national, feared he might get into trouble with the police and so dropped the boy’s body off at the side of the road and also refused to take the injured to hospital.

"My son was killed on the spot by a bullet, while I took a hit on my arm," said Daw Phyu.

"The driver kept driving the truck for about an hour and then said we had to drop my son’s body off on the way," she said.

"I refused to do so, but he wouldn’t listen and left my son in a drain at the side of the road."

The two others injured were identified as an Arakanese man and an ethnic Mon, Daw Phyu said.

"The smugglers were afraid to send us to hospital and instead gave us their own medicine," she said.

Daw Phyu said that people smugglers had arranged for her and her son to cross into Thailand from the Kawthaung border town in Tenasserim division.

They were due to go to Malaysia to make a living and join Daw Phyu's husband, who moved there 10 years ago.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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