Myanmar: Two dead as police crack down on anti-coup protests


Myanmar: Two dead as police crack down on anti-coup protests

Protests against the military rule in Myanmar were met with gunfire and smoke grenades from police. Meanwhile, the country’s former UN envoy has vowed to keep fighting “as long as I can.”

Doctors and medical students march in Yangon's streets against the military takeoverDoctors and medical students march in Yangon’s streets against the military takeover

Myanmar police on Sunday cracked down on anti-coup protesters using stun grenades, tear gas and firing into the air, killing at least two people.

The violence came a day after the most extensive bid to quell unrest against the military regime.

Police opened fire in the southern town of Dawei, killing one and wounding several, politician Kyaw Min Htike told Reuters news agency.

The Dawei Watch media outlet also reported that at least one person was killed and more than a dozen were wounded.

Police officers also opened fire in the main city of Yangon. A man brought to a local hospital with a bullet wound died from his injury, according to a doctor. Myanmar’s Mizzima media outlet also reported the death.

The heavy-handed clampdown has intensified since the military seized power in a coup on February

Mass arrests

Scores of students and teachers were detained. Several bloodied people were seen being helped away from the protests in the city.

“Police got out of their trucks and started throwing stun grenades without warning,” said Hayman May Hninsi, who was among a group of teachers protesting in Yangon. They fled to nearby buildings.

“Some teachers got hurt running. We’re assessing the situation and whether to go out again or not.”

Doctors and students in white lab coats also fled as police launched stun grenades outside a medical school in another part of the city, videos posted online showed.

In the northern city of Mandalay, police fired guns into the air, trapping protesting medical staff in a city hospital, a doctor there told Reuters news agency by telephone.

Police deployed early

Police deployed early and in force, taking positions at the main protest sites in the country’s two biggest cities where protesters, many clad in protective gear, had gathered, witnesses said.

Medical students were marching in Yangon’s streets at an intersection that has become a gathering point for protesters before they spread out to other parts of the city.

Police began chasing the protesters while residents had erected makeshift roadblocks to slow down their advance.

Students march during an anti-coup rally in Yangon, MyanmarScores of students and teachers were arrested for taking part in the protests

Fired UN envoy vows resistance

Sunday’s violence comes days after a dramatic appeal from Myanmar’s UN ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who publicly broke ranks with the ruling junta while addressing the UN General Assembly.

He said he was speaking on behalf of the Aung San Suu Kyi government that was ousted and called for international intervention to help to end the coup.

“We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup,” he said on Friday.

On Saturday, Myanmar’s state broadcaster reported that the diplomat had been fired because he had “betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador.”

“I decided to fight back as long as I can,” Kyaw Moe Tun told Reuters in New York.

The military has said it staged the coup over irregularities in the November election that gave Suu Kyi’s party a landslide win. The national election commission has rejected the allegation.

The junta has also said that it will rule for a year under a state of emergency and then hold fresh elections.


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