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A 22-year-old man has been killed after apparently running a Burmese army checkpoint in the Karenni state capital of Loikaw.
The incident took place on Tuesday evening in a neighbourhood close to the Loikaw University of Computing, which is under a 6pm army curfew. The unnamed man reportedly failed to stop his motorbike after being ordered to by soldiers.
“He arrived at the hospital around 7.30pm with a gunshot wound to his waist area,” said a source close to Loikaw hospital. “He died later in the evening. After getting shot, he had gone back home and told his mother about it and she brought him to the hospital.”
The Loikaw resident, who requested anonymity, said that the man, from nearby Chikeh village, was returning from a farm when he was told to stop. “Apparently, he didn’t hear them because of the noise from his bike engine so they shot him.”
The Burmese army has a significant presence in Karenni state, which plays host to a number of armed ethnic groups, including the opposition Karenni Army.
Much of Burma’s eastern border region is heavily militarised following decades-old insurgencies by Karenni, Karen and Mon groups. Although generally considered low-intensity warfare, civilians are regularly caught up in the conflict, whether targeted as rebel sympathisers or killed in the crossfire.