In a nighttime raid on a village in central Myanmar, junta forces killed six civilians, including four members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, residents said, in what appeared to be a targeted killing of political opponents.

Nearly 30 soldiers and pro-junta militiamen drove into Min Ywar village in Natogyi township, just south of the city of Mandalay, in two vehicles about 9 p.m. Tuesday, and arrested the four party members before shooting them at point-blank range, said a resident who declined to be named for security reasons.

“They came with the names and photos of the victims,” the resident told Radio Free Asia. “Their main target was the four NLD party members.”

Two bystanders were also killed when soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee militiamen discovered photos on their mobile phones of Suu Kyi and the NLD’s victory in November 2020 elections – which the military negated when they seized power in a February coup.

“They tied their hands at the back, blindfolded them, tied their mouths with cloths and shot them pointblank,” said Capt. Thauk Kyar of the Natogyi People’s Defense Force, the shadow government’s armed wing.

Thauk Kyar said he believed the killings were done in retaliation for the killing of Aung Myint, a 55-year-old village chief appointed by the junta, and his son, Kaung Htet Naing, 17, both from Natogi’s Kyaung Nan village. The chief and his son were killed in Min Ywar village on Dec. 5, but People’s Defense Forces had nothing to do with it, he said. 

The NLD members who died were Kyaw Saung, 63, Khin Aung Sein, 63, Han Tin, 42, and Min Zaw, 42. The other two civilians were Soe Paing, 37, and Aung Ko Min, 17, the sources said.

Min Ywar village, with more than 700 households, is situated on the road that connects the towns of Myingyan and Natogyi. 

The bodies of the six dead men were buried on Wednesday, while about 100 residents, including the families of the deceased, fled their homes, residents said.

RFA could not reach Thein Htay, the junta’s spokesman for Mandalay region, for comment. 

As of Thursday, more than 2,560 civilians, including NLD members, have been killed by the junta, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group based in Thailand. 

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