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Two seemingly unrelated but similar murders have shaken Burma this weekend.
Both cases, one in Rangoon and one in Taunggyi, involve young families, including children, who were stabbed to death in their homes for no apparent reason.
In the Rangoon suburb of Mingalardon, an ex-policeman and his young family were the victims of a gruesome slaying.
Retired police officer Soe Naung, 37, his wife Cherry Pwint, 33, and two children –Han Thura, 13, and nine-year-old Swan Htet Myat – were found murdered with multiple stab wounds to their bodies in their home on Saturday.
Yi Yi Nwe, the mother of Cherry Pwint, said it was unknown who the perpetrators of the crime were or what their motive could have been.
“Soe Naung was a good-natured man who did not quarrel with anyone,” she said. “Even if the [murderers] had issues with him, they could have spared the kids, who were innocent. My older grandson had his birthday coming up next week.”
Rangoon police say they are investigating the murders.
Referring to the slaying as “a shocking crime that has mystified authorities”, Coconuts Yangon reported on Monday that some 1,000 people had turned out for the family’s funeral this morning.
Meanwhile, in eerily similar circumstances, a woman and her two children have been found murdered in their village home near Shan State capital Taunggyi.
Local residents in the village of Taungni said police were called to the home of Shwe Yi Cho, 38, a vendor of Shan noodles, after neighbours noticed they haven’t seen her and her two children for several days.
The bodies of the woman and her two children – daughter Wah Wah Htwe, 12, and 10-year-old son Ar Kyu – were found together in their bedroom, slashed and stabbed.
Police said they believe the victims had been dead for about three days. As with the Rangoon family murder, there was no indication of a break-in or a robbery, and any motive for the murders is as yet unclear.
Rangoon report by Ko Arkar/ Taunggyi report by Khun Yazar