Six dead as Myanmar forces target protesters - RTHK
A A A
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

Six dead as Myanmar forces target protesters

2021-02-28 HKT 14:01
Share this story facebook
  • Six dead as Myanmar forces target protesters
Myanmar security forces shot dead at least six protesters on Sunday in the bloodiest action so far to smother opposition to the military coup four weeks ago.

The junta is battling to contain a massive street movement demanding it yield power and release ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with top political allies at the start of the month.

Police and soldiers had already fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon on demonstrations in recent weeks in an effort to bring the civil disobedience campaign to heel, with live rounds used in some isolated cases.

Large numbers were again mobilised on Sunday morning to scatter crowds in several parts of the country, after online calls for protesters to once again flood the streets.

Three men were killed and at least 20 others injured when security forces moved on a rally in the southern coastal hub of Dawei, a volunteer medic and a media outlet based in the city said.

Rescue worker Pyae Zaw Hein said the trio were "shot dead with live rounds", while the injured were hit by rubber bullets.

"More wounded people keep coming in," he told AFP.

Two teenagers were also gunned down in Bago, a two-hour drive north of commercial capital Yangon.

Ambulance driver Than Lwin Oo told AFP he had sent the bodies of the 18-year-olds to the mortuary at Bago's main hospital.

The deaths were confirmed by media based in the town.

Officers in Yangon began dispersing small crowds minutes before the slated beginning of the day's protest, with one 23-year-old shot dead in the city's east.

"His wife is heartbroken," Win Ko, a social worker who visited the man's widow, told AFP. "She's three months pregnant."

Local lawmaker Nyi Nyi who was ousted from his parliamentary seat by the coup, confirmed the details of the death in a Facebook post.

Elsewhere in the city, protesters took up positions behind barricades and wielded homemade shields to defend themselves against the onslaught, with police using tear gas to clear some rallies.

One man in Mandalay was taken to hospital in critical condition after a projectile pierced his helmet and lodged in his brain.

A doctor in the city, Myanmar's second-largest, said it was not known whether the 41-year-old had been struck by a live round or a rubber bullet.

At least one journalist documenting Sunday's assaults by security forces was beaten and detained further north in Myitkyina, a city at the headwaters of the Irrawaddy river, according to local outlet The 74 Media.

Another reporter was shot with rubber bullets while covering a protest in the central city of Pyay, their employer said.

Since the February 1 military takeover, Myanmar has been roiled by giant demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign encouraging civil servants to walk off the job.

Sunday's crackdown followed a similar wave of violent action against angry but largely peaceful anti-coup rallies around the country a day earlier. (AFP)
______________________________
Last updated: 2021-02-28 HKT 18:48