Narinjara News


Cox’s Bazar, May 25



Army officer arrested for the killing of 3 deserters


An army officer was arrested in the district town of Buthidaung, 80 miles north of Arakan state capital Akyab, on 7 May 2005, for the killing of 3 deserters in a front line of the western Burma border area.


Captain That Oo, from Light Infantry Battalion, LIB, 535, is now being interrogated in a military tribunal under the Sakhaka 15, a military operation planning bureau based in Buthidaung, for his involvement in this killing.  


According to army sources, captain That Oo was accused of giving an order to a platoon to kill the three deserters after arresting them with their arms and ammunitions in a remote village.


The platoon led by sergeant U Hla Thein killed them on the way to Aung Thapray outpost from Don Nyo village, a western border village in Burma, on 30 December 2004.


The three deserters were captured by a column of the Burmese army in the remote village of Don Nyo, on 29 December 2004, three days after they fled from their outpost station. 


The deserters were identified as private Soe Kyaw Kyaw, Soe Min Let and Tun Tun, all of whom served their duty in the LIB-535, which was operating in the area along the border with Bangladesh.


It has been learnt that in the past the Burmese army there has not punished officers for the extra-judicial execution of deserters who have fled with arms and ammunitions.  


If Captain That Oo is charged with and convicted of killing the three men, it would be become the first time an army officer has been punished for such a crime, said a teacher from Buthidaung.#



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