Attack on WHO vehicle carrying Coronavirus samples in Myanmar kills driver

The military and the Arakan army has denied attacking the vehicle

The United Nations has condemned the attack on the vehicle carrying coronavirus test samples in Myanmar. The attack led to the demise of the vehicle driver and left a government official seriously injured. According to reports, the vehicle had come under fire which killed the staffer, Pyae Sone Win Maung, 28, who was driving the vehicle. It was hit while it was travelling through the Rakhine state. The vehicle was travelling to collect COVID-19 monitoring samples.

The top officials have condemned the attack on the well-marked World Health Organisation vehicle on Monday, April 20. The WHO chief has called the death "tragic." Several have also requested an independent international investigation into the matter.

The military and Arkan state denied any involvement in the attack on the vehicle. According to Myanmar's Maj-Gen Tun Tun Nyi, a military spokesman, there was no reason for the military to attack the UN vehicle.

The UN statement

Rohingya crisis: 'Latest violence marks predictable escalation in genocidal process'
Representational Image Reuters

A statement released by the UN read that the "United Nations is deeply saddened to confirm that Mr Pyae Sone Win Maung...has died after being wounded in a security incident in Minbya Township in Rakhine state, on the evening of Monday 20 April 2020."

The statement said that the driver was on a marked vehicle route to Sittwe to Yangon, transporting COVID-19 surveillance samples. The statement also said that they were looking into further information regarding the information surrounding the driver's death.

The attack is coming after the UN raising concerns in February over the deaths and displacement of people in north-west Myanmar. There have also been reports about the intense conflict in the region between the military and the armed group of Arakan army.

The UN has not confirmed who carried out the shooting on the vehicle which killed the driver and injured another government employee. Amid the pandemic, UK and US had requested a stop to the fight in the country. There have been more than 80 cases in Myanmar with reports of around four deaths. The government had also rejected the ceasefire that was requested by the Arakan Army.

Related topics : Coronavirus