Burma: Journalist killed while reporting on illegal logging in Monywa
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Burma: Journalist killed while reporting on illegal logging in Monywa

A BURMESE (Myanmar) journalist has been killed while reporting on illegal logging in the north-west of the country, a government official said.

The journalist, Soe Moe Tun, was a local-based reporter in Monywa in the Sagaing region where he was killed early Tuesday. He had worked for the Daily Eleven Newspaper, part of Eleven Media Group, since early 2015.

The government official, who declined to be named, did not immediately provide any details. The local police say they are investigating the death.

The Myanmar Press Council says threats against journalists are common and that five journalists have been killed in the country since 1999.

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Eleven Media issued a statement urging the police and local government to quickly investigate the case.

According to The Myanmar Times, police said Soe’s body was found near a golf course in Monywa.

Police Lieutenant Thein Swe Myint was quoted by the local paper as saying that the victim was found with bruises and wounds on his head.

The authorities said the reporter was most likely murdered but had yet to identify a suspect or motive for the killing.

“The victim was a reporter from Eleven Media. We are still investigating the reason for the killing and what the motives are. Our police are at the site of the incident. The case will be handled by the Monywa Central police force,” Thein said.

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Eleven Media’s Mandalay bureau chief and colleague of the victim, Ko Min Thant said the dead reporter had been working on a story on illegal logging activities and wood smuggling in the region.

“He was a quiet man and on good terms with everybody. Before he was killed, he had not written any articles which could cause serious trouble. In the past, he wrote about wood smugglers,” Ko said.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press