Police opened fire on civilians in Myanmar. At least two demonstrators were killed and many more injured during protests against the military coup.
In Myanmar, the worst clashes to date during protests against the military coup occurred on Saturday with two dead and numerous injuries. In Mandalay, police opened fire with live ammunition on striking shipyard workers and other demonstrators after some slingshot fired workers. She also used rubber bullets and slingshots to disperse the protesters.
Hundreds of police officers and soldiers were on duty at the Yadanarbon shipyard in Mandalay on Saturday. “Twenty people are injured and two are dead,” said Ko Aung, head of Parahita Darhi voluntary emergency aid.
With live ammunition on protesters
A man died of a head injury, media and a doctor reported. Security forces fired live ammunition at protesters who gathered for a rally in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city.
According to the rescue workers, there is also a boy who was shot in the head. Several hundred police officers were involved in the operation at a shipyard. At least five people were also hit by rubber bullets, said a photographer who was on site.
A dead student on Friday
In Mandalay, as in other cities, there was no weakening of the protests on Saturday just three weeks after the coup. In Yangon and in Naypyitaw, young people met for mourning ceremonies for Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing. The 20-year-old student, who was shot by forces in the capital, Naypyidaw, died from severe head injuries. On a video broadcast live on Facebook, it sounded like shooting was ongoing.
Photos on social media show bleeding people being carried away on stretchers. According to Myanmar Now, hundreds of protesters gathered near a shipyard in Mandalay to support striking workers. The authorities put them under pressure to return to work. 20 vehicles with soldiers and police officers as well as two water cannons were brought to the site to break up the rally. According to eyewitnesses, there have been at least ten arrests, it said.
Background: The military coup of February 1st
The military overthrew the government on February 1 and arrested the de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. On that day, the parliament newly elected in November should have met for its first session. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NDL) party won the election by a large margin, but the military speaks of fraud.
The protesters are calling for Suu Kyi to be reinstated. They also want to overturn the 2008 constitution, in which the military is assigned a formative role in politics. The army ruled Myanmar continuously until 2011.