Three demonstrators killed in Myanmar

Battle-ready: Protesters wearing protective gear take part in a demonstration against the coup in Yangon.   | Photo Credit: STR

Three demonstrators were killed in Myanmar on Monday, witnesses said, while shops, factories and banks were closed in the main city Yangon in protests against last month’s military coup.

Security forces were also deployed at hospitals and universities, state media said.

Two of the victims died of gunshot wounds to the head in the northern town of Myitkyina, the witnesses said. It was not immediately clear who fired on the protesters although both police and the military were at the scene.

Photos posted on Facebook showed the bodies of two men lying on the street. Witnesses said they were taking part in a protest against the coup when police fired stun grenades and tear gas. Several people were then hit by gunfire from nearby buildings.

One witness, who said he helped move the bodies, said two people were shot in the head and died on the spot. Three people were wounded. “How inhumane to kill unarmed civilians,” said the witness, a 20-year-old man. “We must have our right to protest peacefully.”

At least one person was killed and two injured during a protest in the town of Phyar Pon in the Irrawaddy Delta, an activist and local media said.

Police and military have killed more than 50 people to quell the daily demonstrations and strikes against the February 1 coup, according to the United Nations.

On Monday, demonstrators gathered in Yangon and Mandalay and several other towns.

Protesters in Dawei, a coastal town in the south, were protected by the Karen National Union, an ethnic armed group engaged a long-running war with the military.

In some places, they waved flags fashioned from htamain (women’s sarongs) or hung them up on lines across the street to mark International Women’s Day while denouncing the junta. Walking beneath women’s sarongs is traditionally considered bad luck for men.

Call to stop work

Witnesses reported sounds of gunfire or stun grenades in many districts of Yangon on Sunday night as soldiers set up camp in hospitals and university compounds. It was not clear whether anyone was hurt.

At least nine unions covering sectors including construction, agriculture and manufacturing have called on “all Myanmar people” to stop work to reverse the coup and restore Ms. Suu Kyi’s government.

Allowing business and economic activity to continue would help the military “as they repress the energy of the Myanmar people”, the unions said in a statement.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 12:18:29 AM |

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