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NLD says slain Suu Kyi aide was deliberately targeted

YANGON: A top Muslim lawyer who was gunned down outside Yangon's airport was deliberately targeted, Myanmar's ruling party said.

The party described the assassination as a "terrorist act" against its policies.

Mr Ko Ni, 63, a legal adviser to the National League for Democracy (NLD) who spoke out against rising sectarianism, was shot in the head on Sunday afternoon by an assailant as he waited outside the airport while holding his grandson.

A taxi driver who tried to stop the attacker was also gunned down in an act that has shocked a country unused to political killings. The unnamed attacker was arrested at the scene and is being interrogated by police, but authorities have so far remained silent on his motive.

IRREPLACEABLE

In a statement late on Sunday, the NLD described Mr Ko Ni as a key aide to de facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, saying he was "irreplaceable".

"We strongly denounce the assassination of Ko Ni. It is a terrorist act against the NLD's policies," the statement said.

As a prominent Muslim party member, he was also a rare voice advocating religious tolerance and pluralism - and a critic of the powerful military's ongoing political influence.

Mr Ko Ni's daughter Yin Nwe Khaing said her father had made enemies because he was a prominent Muslim voice in the majority Buddhist country. - AFP.

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