Myanmar ruling party lawyer shot dead at Yangon airport

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 29, 2017 7:29 AM

By Wa Lone and Shwe Yee Saw Myint

YANGON (Reuters) - A legal adviser for Myanmar's ruling National League for Democracy was shot dead outside the country's busiest airport on Sunday after returning from a government-led trip to Indonesia.

An unidentified lone gunman killed the veteran lawyer, Ko Ni, and injured two others in front of the main terminal of Yangon International Airport at 5 p.m., according to San Naing, Ko Ni's assistant.

"They shot my boss. He is dead. I am beside his body and there's blood on the floor," San Naing told Reuters by phone.

Images posted on social media appeared to show a pool of blood around the slain lawyer's head.

Police have detained a suspect, but the motive was unknown so far. Ko Ni was a prominent member of Myanmar's Muslim minority.

The shooting comes amid heightened communal tensions in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where leader Aung San Suu Kyi is under pressure over a security operation in an area of the country's northwest that is populated mostly by Muslims.

A police official in the capital, Naypyidaw, told Reuters a Myanmar citizen from the central Myanmar city of Mandalay had been arrested.

The official, who declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to media, did not provide additional details about the suspect.

Ko Ni, an expert in constitutional law who advises the party led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, had joined a delegation to Indonesia led by Information Minister Pe Myint, the assistant said.

The delegation to Muslim-majority Indonesia - billed as an opportunity to share experiences of national reconciliation - included several Myanmar Muslim leaders, some belonging to the mostly stateless Rohingya minority.

(Writing by Simon Lewis, editing by Larry King)