School Principal, Two Villagers Found Dead in Paletwa

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A school principal and two villagers who had gone missing in southern Chin State’s Paletwa Township were found dead in the jungle on Friday.

Abyayla, the principal of the primary school in the village of Sihpalaung, and Kyaw Than Win and Hla Thein from the community of Kyet-Ou-Wa, had disappeared on January 7. Villagers searched for them and found their bodies in the jungle between the villages of Inn-Hko-Wa and Sein Sin on the morning of January 10.

The cause of death appeared to be knife injuries, and the men were found with their hands tied with rope behind their backs.

“We don’t know exactly who arrested them. When we searched for them, we found their dead bodies in the jungle. We found the dead body of teacher Abyayla and another villager together in the same place. Another dead body was found in another place,” one of Abyayla’s relatives told Khonumthung News.

The men’s bodies were brought to Paletwa town and buried on Friday afternoon.

It is unknown which group or individuals are responsible for the deaths of the three men. Paletwa Township remains a conflict zone, with the Burma Army and the Arakan Army engaged in intensifying clashes in the area.

The Khumi Affairs Coordination Committee released a statement on Friday describing the troop movements of the Arakan Army in Paletwa Township and alleging that they had beaten and arrested villagers and forced them to carry rations for them.

Representatives of the Arakan Army recently said that Burma Army troops had been pretending to be Arakan Army troops and had been abducting and committing crimes against locals.

Khonumthung News repeatedly called an Arakan Army spokesperson for comment on the case, but had received no response at the time of reporting.

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