Lawyer accused of helping army slain by guerrillas

A veteran corporate lawyer has been shot dead in Myanmar’s biggest city by self-proclaimed urban guerrillas, highlighting the bloody struggle between the military government and its foes in the country’s cities as well as the remote countryside.

Min Tayza Nyunt Tin was shot multiple times while driving his car in Yangon on Friday, according to a business colleague, media reports and a statement from the guerrilla group.

The group, calling itself Urban Owls, accused him of being a business associate of the country’s military leaders who seized power two years ago, and claimed he helped them launder money in order to buy real estate and business assets abroad in deals totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.

Its claims could not be independently verified, and a colleague of Min Tayza denied the guerrillas’ allegations. The victim was the founder and CEO of BIZ Law Consult Myanmar, a law firm specialising in intellectual property and trademark law.

Media outlets sympathetic to the military reported on the Telegram messaging app that the 56-year-old was shot by members of the People’s Defence Force.

It’s a loosely organised armed wing of the pro-democracy National Unity Government, which opposes the military government that was established when the army seized power in February 2021 from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Many of the opposition forces operate autonomously of the National Unity Government.

The army takeover triggered widespread peaceful protests that were quashed with lethal force, triggering armed resistance that UN experts characterise as civil war.

Urban guerrillas have carried out targeted killings, arson and small bombings since 2021.

Victims included officials and members of the military as well as people believed to be informers or military collaborators. — AP

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