Burmese Rebel Leader Assassinated in Thailand

Suspicion falls on military junta, allies
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2008 11:51 AM CST
Youth wing members of Myanmar's opposition party, the National League for Democracy, gather in front of NLD party headquarters in Yangon for Union Day ceremonies Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. (AP Photo)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – One of Myanmar's top rebel leaders was shot dead in his home in Thailand today, Reuters reports. Mahn Sha Lar Phan was the secretary-general of the Karen National Unit, the largest rebel group in the former Burma. His son, another senior leader, immediately blamed the attack on a splinter group allied with Burma's ruling junta.

One Myanmar analyst called Mahn Sha an “articulate strategist and a unifying figure.” The assassins approached him at his home in a Thai border town and asked, “How are you uncle?” before shooting him and escaping in their running pickup. “Everybody is terrified that there could be a hit list from the Burmese military circulating around Thailand,” another analyst said.