2 Karen rebels killed in highway robbery

2 Karen rebels killed in highway robbery

Two members of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) were shot dead when they happened upon a gang of dacoits robbing a public bus on the highway between Tavoy [Dawei] and Rangoon on Wednesday.

The bus, belonging to Aung Yadanar Express Bus Line, was carrying passengers from the Tenasserim capital to Rangoon when it was forcibly stopped by a gang of about 10 bandits at a quite stretch of road at Malwe Hill near the town of Ye, in Mon State.

As the dacoits were in the process of looting the bus, a KNLA official identified as Lt Khin Win of the 4th Brigade, 10th Battalion, and his assistant (name unknown), happened upon the crime scene while they were traveling by car.

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“Lt Khin Win and his assistant stumbled upon the scene, unaware of a robbery taking place. The bandits called them to exit their vehicle, then opened fire on them,” said Saw Eh Na, the Myeik-Tavoy district secretary of the Karen National Union, which is the KNLA’s political wing.

“His assistant tried to run but was shot in the back and killed.”

Saw Eh Na said Khin Win was critically wounded and rushed to hospital in Ye by a friend who found him soon after. However, he died on the way. The area used to be known for rampant banditry in the past, he said.

The Aung Yadanar Bus Terminal in Tavoy and the district police confirmed the robbery took place, but did not provide further details.

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