Five inmates slay guards, flee Myanmar’s Dawei prison

The prisoners had been tasked with collecting firewood from a nearby village when they escaped.
By RFA Burmese
Five inmates slay guards, flee Myanmar’s Dawei prison The five prisoners had been tasked with collecting wood near a village about 13 kilometers (8 miles) away from Dawei Prison [shown] in Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region.
Dawei Watch

Five inmates are on the run from Myanmar’s Dawei Prison after they killed two guards and escaped while gathering firewood over the weekend, according to sources with ties to the facility in the western region of Tanintharyi.

The five had been tasked with collecting wood that had been cut near Ye Phyu township’s Zee Kya village, some 13 kilometers (8 miles) away from Dawei Prison, at around 7 a.m. on Saturday when they killed prison guards Aung Bo Bo Htut and Lwin Nyein and fled, one of the sources told RFA Burmese.

“Some of them were inmates who were going to be released soon,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing security concerns. “When they were taken out of the prison and tasked to carry firewood, all five of them escaped.”

The source said that the two guards were the only ones overseeing the work detail when the inmates made their escape.

“They killed them and ran away," he said, adding that none of the five were prisoners of conscience.

A second source who is close to Dawei Prison confirmed the incident.

The source, who also declined to be named, said the inmates fled to an area controlled by one of the various anti-junta People’s Defense Force, or PDF, paramilitary groups that are trying to unseat the military regime following its February 2021 coup d’etat.

RFA was unable to independently confirm the claims.

Attempts to reach Thant Zin, the junta’s social affairs minister and spokesman for Tanintharyi region, about the reported escape went unanswered Monday.

Pro-junta accounts on the social media platform Telegram said that two prison employees who went to collect firewood near Zee Kya village had been killed and that their bodies were discovered near Ye Waing Road in Maung Mei Shaung village tract at around 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The hands of the two prison guards had been tied behind their backs and towels had been placed over their faces, the accounts said, adding that their bodies showed signs of injuries to their chests, heads and abdomens.

Residents of Ye Phyu township told RFA that junta troops are currently searching for the escapees and have set up a series of checkpoints along roads in the area.

Nearly 25,200 people have been arrested nationwide since the February 2021 coup according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

More than 19,600 are still being held in various prisons.

Translated by Myo Min Aung. Edited by Joshua Lipes and Matt Reed.


Add your comment by filling out the form below in plain text. Comments are approved by a moderator and can be edited in accordance with RFAs Terms of Use. Comments will not appear in real time. RFA is not responsible for the content of the postings. Please, be respectful of others' point of view and stick to the facts.