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Apr 1, 2008 (DVB), Hlaing Tharyar township National League for Democracy chairman U Myint Hlaing has been hospitalized after being bashed by an unknown attacker yesterday evening, according to sources close to him.
U Tin Yu, a resident of Hlaing Tharyar township in Rangoon and close friend of Myint Hlaing, said the 72-year-old was attacked by an unknown man while out walking in front of his house at around 7.30pm yesterday evening.
"U Myint Hlaing was taking a walk outside his house when he was attacked by a man who bashed him on the right side of his head," said Tin Yu.
"He had about a two-inch cut on his head."
Tin Yu said a police officer who was near the scene of the attack ignored a request by Myint Hlaing and the surrounding people to arrest the attacker.
"People in the neighbourhood gathered at the place immediately and tried to chase the attacker and they also asked the policeman to give them assistance," he said.
"But the officer ignored the request and walked off to a nearby market, in the direction the attacker made his escape, while talking on his mobile phone."
Myint Hlaing was taken to the Hlaing Tharyar township hospital by Tin Yu and his neighbours at around 8pm but did not receive treatment until 9.30pm as there were no doctors available.
Tin Yu said Myint Hlaing was given three stitches in the wound on his head.
Residents of Myint Hlaing’s ward said the attacker had been spotted at a Mohingar (Burmese noodle) shop near his house on 30 March, the day before the attack took place, and he also rented a book from another shop nearby, giving his name as Min Min.
Tin Yu said people in the township have speculated that the attack could have been planned by government authorities as it seemed very well organized.
"Maybe they are planning to carry out attacks or commit murders targeting political activists and NLD members," he said.
"But this is not going to make anything better."
The attack on Myint Hlaing follows a similar attack on Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network member U Myint Aye on 27 March.
Myint Aye is being treated at Rangoon's Neurological Hospital after suffering head wounds in an attack near his home.
Reporting by Aye Nai