Former student activist Kyaw San Oo was shot in the head at close range when he wasn’t able to flee police following a shootout
A leader of a resistance group based in Magwe Region’s Gangaw Township was killed during a clash with regime forces on Sunday, according to family members.
Kyaw San Oo, a 24-year-old former member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), was shot dead during the clash near the village of Bawpyin in Gangaw.
“We were told that he was fatally shot in the head after getting injured in the thigh. When he was no longer able to run due to his injury, a member of the regime’s police force shot him in the temple at close range,” said a relative of Kyaw San Oo.
Regime forces attacked the Gangaw People’s Defence Force (PDF) after their location was revealed by an informant. Two PDF fighters, including Kyaw San Oo, and two regime troops were killed in the shootout, according to Gangaw locals.
Regime police took the body of Kyaw San Oo after the clash and told his family on Monday afternoon to retrieve it from the Gangaw Hospital, the relative said.
“We had to go get his body right away and had it cremated at around 4pm at a village cemetery,” he added.
Further information about the other person killed in the clash was not available at the time of reporting.
Executing an injured enemy at close range violates the code of conduct for soldiers, said army defector Tun Myat Aung, who was a captain before leaving the military.
“We can’t kill prisoners of war and detainees. It’s part of the code of ethics for soldiers regarding treatment of their enemies,” he said.
The regime has not released a statement regarding the clash or the death of Kyaw San Oo.
Kyaw San Oo was an active member of the Pakokku University Student Union and participated in the ABFSU’s activities from 2012 to 2019, said Min Htet Myat, who is also a student activist from Meikhtila.
“He regularly led the organisation’s activities. He did many things for the Gangaw region even after he finished university,” Min Htet Myat told Myanmar Now.
“It is such a great loss of a comrade and a good friend. I am really sorry that he died halfway through the journey, even though he could do so much more,” he added.
Kyaw San Oo’s family said they were proud of him and his firm political stance.
“We wish 10 more people like him could emerge even though he was killed,” said one relative.
According to a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 875 people have been killed by regime forces since the military seized power in a coup on February 1.
The vast majority have been unarmed protesters and bystanders killed in crackdowns and raids.