Militants kill 2 soldiers in the street as violence escalates in Yangon

A file photo of the kind of truck which was attacked Thursday in Yangon.
A file photo of the kind of truck which was attacked Thursday in Yangon.

Two soldiers were killed in an attack on their military vehicle yesterday in Yangon amid a rising tide of violence.

Attackers tossed two grenades into the bed of a truck loaded with soldiers and then opened fire, killing two at about 4:30pm on Baho Road in Sanchaung Township. In footage shot from afar, gunshots could be heard along with soldiers shouting profanities to warn other motorists away.

One soldier was shot and killed in the front after the commanding officer was shot in the head.  The driver was injured. Graphic images showed one dead soldier slumped over in the front passenger seat, and another stretched out on the floor in the back of another vehicle. Additional bombings were reported afterward on Zeyawaddy Street.

Though the military has not yet commented on the attack, two armed militia groups called the Revolution Force and the Generation Freedom Army took credit for the attack.

The attack came two days after the government in exile known as the National Unity Government, or NUG, called for armed uprising against the ruling junta. Coconuts was unable to confirm whether the two forces were related to the NUG.

Myanmar’s shadow government declares war on junta

Also on Thursday, the junta’s Anti-Terrorism Central Committee announced that landlords would be held responsible if they did not file tenant names with the relevant ward or village administrators. Their properties will be seized by the state, it warned.

On Wednesday night, roughly 100 people were arrested in 13 wards of Yangon’s Hlaing Township after soldiers searched homes on Ashoka and Maha Swe roads and accusing them of not submitting overnight guest lists. At least some were free as of Thursday morning, according to an Ashoka Road resident, who spoke anonymously.

Since the February coup, local resistance forces have carried out bombings and assassinations of military informants across the country. Last month, a PDF-aligned unit assassinated six police officers on a Yangon train.

Ko Bo Kyi of the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (Burma) said on Twitter that dialog with the military was “mission impossible” in response to the tension from the international community to push both parties in Myanmar to solve the crisis.

His association reported Thursday that a total of 1,058 civilians have been killed by the military since the Feb. 1 coup, and 7,992 placed unlawfully into regime custody.

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