Friday, 16 April

Myanmar coup: Deadliest day of protests as police open fire

World News
Myanmar police open fire on protesters

Police have fired on protesters in Myanmar killing at least 10, medics say, on the deadliest day since rallies against the country's coup began.

Deaths were reported in Yangon, Dawei and Mandalay, as police used live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas.

Security forces began the violent crackdown on Saturday, after weeks of largely peaceful protests against the 1 February military takeover.

Government leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, were overthrown and detained.

Social media footage from Sunday showed protesters running away as police charged at them, makeshift roadblocks being erected, and several people being led away covered in blood.

The police crackdown was expanded on Sunday as coup leaders sought to quash a civil disobedience campaign that has shown no sign of ending.

What is happening on the ground?

Activists, doctors and medical workers told the BBC that at least 10 people had been killed on Sunday.

The figures in unverified social media reports were much higher, in some cases more than 20.

Dozens more are said to have been injured.

At least four people were killed in the largest city, Yangon, as police fired bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

The protesters remained defiant. "If they push us, we'll rise. If they attack us, we'll defend. We'll never kneel down to the military boots," Nyan Win Shein told Reuters.

Another protester, Amy Kyaw, told AFP: "Police started shooting just as we arrived. They didn't say a word of warning. Some got injured and some teachers are still hiding in neighbours' houses."

Some demonstrators were herded away in police vans.

In the south-eastern city of Dawei, security forces moved to break up a rally.

There are reports of live rounds being used. Four people were killed in the city, activists told the BBC.

Police also cracked down on a large rally in Mandalay, where police used water cannon and fired into the air. One person was killed there, the BBC has been told.

Protests have continued elsewhere, including the north-eastern town of Lashio.

The number of arrests since the protests began has not been confirmed. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group has put the figure at 850, but hundreds more appear to have been detained this weekend.

Where is Aung San Suu Kyi?

Myanmar's civilian leader has not been seen in public since she was detained in the capital Nay Pyi Taw as the coup began.

Her supporters and many in the international community have demanded her release and the restoration of the November election result that saw her National League for Democracy party win a landslide.

Ms Suu Kyi is scheduled to face court proceedings on Monday on charges of possessing unregistered walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus rules. But her lawyer says he has been unable to speak to her.

Military leaders justified the seizure of power by alleging widespread fraud in the elections, claims dismissed by the electoral committee.

The coup has been widely condemned outside Myanmar, prompting sanctions against the military and other punitive moves.

 

Source: BBC