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2 youths killed after brawl with Myanmar soldiers

2 youths killed after brawl with Myanmar soldiers

Myanmar state media warned politicians and foreign media Friday not to misrepresent a recent deadly "drunken brawl" between soldiers and youths as a backlash against the military.
Two young men were shot and killed Sept. 4 when soldiers opened fire on a group of youths during scuffles that followed a traffic accident, the New Light of Myanmar reported Friday. The clash occurred in the city of Bago, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Yangon.
The newspaper said a lawsuit was filed against the soldiers involved and that they would receive "punitive action."
The report reflected concerns by authorities about anger among Bago residents. Anti-government leaflets have been anonymously distributed in Bago demanding a public hearing against the soldiers involved in the clash.
"In reality, it was just a drunken brawl in the street between some young soldiers and some young civilians, not a fight between the Tatmadaw and the public," said the newspaper. Tatmadaw means military.
"The attempt to exploit such cases to cause mass demonstrations is deemed to be a destructive act," added the newspaper. Reports in Myanmar's tightly controlled newspapers are viewed as reflections of the junta's views.
Myanmar's military, which has ruled the country since 1962, when it was known as Burma, tolerates no dissent and crushed pro-democracy protests led by Buddhist monks in September 2007.
Ahead of November elections, the country's first in two decades, the junta has passed laws making it illegal for political parties to shout slogans or distribute information that tarnish the image of the military, or conduct any activities deemed harmful to stability and security.
The article accused "some politicians, some anti-government people and certain foreign radio stations (of) taking advantage of the fight for political gains."
The fight started after a motorbike carrying two soldiers "slightly hit" a taxi rickshaw carrying seven young men, the newspaper said. The motorbike fell and the youths assaulted the soldiers, one of whom fled and returned with four more soldiers "thus leading to another conflict."
One of the soldiers opened fire, killing a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old. A funeral was held Tuesday.


Updated : 2021-02-25 10:32 GMT+08:00