The killings come less than a week after another incident that claimed the life of a five-year-old girl
Four people were shot dead in Mandalay over the weekend in three separate incidents that took place between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, according to local sources.
The first shooting was reported in Mandalay’s Chanayethazan Township, where residents told Myanmar Now that they heard multiple gunshots after around 10pm Saturday.
People living on 28th Street, where the shooting occurred, said they did not learn until the next morning that one person had been killed and three others were injured in the incident.
“We could hear gunshots all over the neighbourhood. There were two barrages of gunfire. We thought there had been clashes at the ward and township administration offices,” said a man who asked to remain anonymous.
“We only found out in the morning that it was soldiers chasing around four civilians,” he added.
The victims were reportedly four youths who were returning from a restaurant when they encountered the soldiers. No further details were available at the time of reporting.
The two other incidents were reported in Pyigyitagon and Chanmyathazi townships at around the same time Sunday morning, sources told Myanmar Now.
Soe Nyein, the 40-year-old ward administrator for an industrial zone in Pyigyitagon Township, was eating breakfast at a noodle shop when he was shot dead at around 7am, according to a woman who witnessed the incident.
“He was shot in the head while he was eating Shan noodles. He died on the spot. He had an assistant with him who survived the attack. But I don’t think he lived for long, as he was shot in the chest,” said the woman.
Soe Nyein was appointed ward administrator after the military seized power in February, the woman added.
“He worked at the administration office as an errand boy for a few years, until he became an administrator after the coup. He always bullied the people in the neighbourhood,” she said.
The third shooting took place in front of the 300-Bedded Teaching Hospital on 62nd Street Chanmyathazi Township, where a young couple was gunned down on their motorcycle.
The victims were identified as Chan Mya Nyein, a hospital employee, and her husband, Arkar Phyo, both in their 30s.
According to a friend of the couple, Arkar Phyo was taking his wife, who was pregnant, to work when they were both shot in the head at close range.
“His brains were totally blown out. She was still alive when they took her to the hospital, but she died soon after,” said the friend, citing witnesses.
It was unclear who was responsible for the shooting. While there has been speculation that the couple was shot for going through a checkpoint without stopping, a number of local news outlets have cited a military official as saying that they were shot by gunmen on a motorcycle.
Another friend of the couple said that it was possible that they were victims of a targeted killing.
“People were writing online that they were military informants. In truth, they didn’t support either side,” said the friend, who asked not to be identified.
According to the friend, someone sent the couple a bomb disguised as a present when they got married in May. One person was injured when the bomb exploded, he added.
He declined to say who he thought was responsible for the killing, but suggested that it could have been a personal attack carried out by someone using recent unrest as a cover.
Mandalay has seen numerous violent incidents since the coup, including some that have claimed the lives of bystanders.
Last week, a five-year-old girl was shot dead in Aung Tharyar, a ward in Chanmyathazi Township, after soldiers opened fire following a bomb attack by an urban guerrilla group.
Ei Thandar Aung was playing in the yard in front of her house when a bullet struck her in the back of the head, killing her instantly, a witness told Myanmar Now.
The junta later denied responsibility for the incident, which it blamed on local resistance forces.