Things are heating up before the annual Thingyan festival as shootings and bombings escalate in Yangon, with one junta leader guard and major killed last night.
At least three guards were injured and one died when gunmen opened fire from a vehicle on security forces guarding the entrance of junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing’s residence in Kamayut Township on Sunday evening. Separately, a major in charge of military administration in Lanmadaw Township was shot dead at close range on the same day.
Two gunmen fired about two dozen rounds each from what looked to be AR-15 assault rifles from the back seat of a car while driving past Min Aung Hlaing’s large mansion at the intersection of Zawgyi and Panwar roads just off Inya Road. Footage filmed from inside the vehicle was posted to social media last night.
According to the insurgent Yangon Urban Revolutionary Force, the gunmen were involved in an operation that began Thursday. It said they were among the same group of militants who have taken credit for killing 253 military personnel and associates in the past seven months.
At around 6 pm, guerrilla fighters shot dead Brigadier Gen. Kaday Phyo Aung, the junta’s military admin for Lanmadaw Township, near near the entrance of the General Administration Department at Mawtin Port.
The operation was described as a civilian operation under the Southern Regional Mission of the Ministry of Defense of the government in exile, the National Unity Government. It considers all military and its allies to be target, a spokesman for the Yangon Regional Command Information Office told local media DVB Burmese.
The attack comes as the military has been trying to project an air of normalcy by organizing events for the Thingyan Water Festival, which runs Wednesday to Saturday.
A military-backed fashion event last week backfired with a number of participants blackballed by the public for participating.
A campaign to boycott the New Year’s activities has been promoted under the slogan “The blood that splatters on the road cannot be washed with Thingyan water.”
“We urge all the public not to go anywhere near the security forces during the Thingyan holidays and not to participate in their festive activities,” the revolutionary force said in a statement last night.