2021-02-28 04:54:47 | Two reported dead, many hurt as Myanmar police fire at protesters | Myanmar News

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Story by: Al Jazeera

DEVELOPING STORY

Police open fire on protesters in Yangon and Dawei, killing at least two and wounding dozens more, local media say.

Police in Myanmar moved quickly to stamp out protests against military rule on Sunday, firing live rounds in the air and lobbing stun grenades and tear gas canisters at demonstrators in the main city of Yangon and the southern town of Dawei.

Two protesters were killed during the crackdowns, according to local media.

The Myanmar Now media group posted a video of a wounded man lying on the street near the Hledan Centre intersection in Yangon, and said he had been “shot in his chest area by what appeared to be live ammunition”.

A man who witnessed the shooting told the Frontier Magazine that the police had fired live rounds at protesters sheltering at a bus station and that “one person died and others are wounded”.

In southern Dawei, the Dawei Watch media outlet said police shot and killed a second protester and wounded dozens more.

Kyaw Min Htike, a politician, confirmed the killing to Reuters news agency.

Sunday’s police action came after state television announced that Myanmar’s envoy to the United Nations had been fired for betraying the country after he urged the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to reverse the February 1 coup that deposed elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The military’s power grab and its detention of the country’s civilian leadership have plunged Myanmar into fresh chaos, just a decade after the end of nearly 50 years of strict military rule. For three weeks now, huge crowds have taken to the streets of cities and towns across Myanmar, calling for Aung San Suu Kyi’s release and the restoration of civilian rule.

As the popular uprising gathers steam, security forces have become more aggressive in using force.

The violence in Yangon erupted early on Sunday morning when medical students were marching in Yangon’s streets near the Hledan Centre intersection.

Footage showed protesters running from police who charged at them, and residents setting up makeshift roadblocks to slow their advance. Nearby, residents were pleading with police to release those they picked up from the street and shoved into police trucks to be taken away.

Police also opened fire and threw stun grenades at demonstrating teachers in the district of Yankin.

Hayman May Hninsi, who was with a group of fellow teachers in Yangon, said “police got out of their cars and started throwing stun grenades without warning”.

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

Myanmar Now said a female public school teacher sustained a gunshot wound and her condition remained unclear.

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In another part of the city, footage showed doctors and students in white lab fleeing as police threw stun grenades outside a medical school.

Despite the crackdown, hundreds of protesters remain on the streets of Yangon, many of them setting up makeshift barricades and carrying shields to protect themselves.

Youth activist Esther Ze Naw told Reuters people were battling to overcome the fear they had lived with for so long.

“This fear will only grow if we keep living with it and the people who are creating the fear know that. It’s obvious they’re trying to instil fear in us by making us run and hide,” she said.

“We can’t accept that.”

Police in the second city of Mandalay also fired guns into the air, trapping protesting medical staff in a city hospital, a doctor there told Reuters by telephone.

 

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Source References: Al Jazeera

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