The security forces in Myanmar are increasingly violent against the demonstrators: Almost four weeks after the military coup, several people were killed, injured and arrested in nationwide protests.
There are contradicting data about the number of victims:
In the two largest cities of Yangon and Mandalay as well as in Dawei and Bago, at least nine people have so far died as a result of police violence, reported the newspaper “The Irrawaddy”.
The AFP news agency, citing rescue workers and officials, reported six fatalities – three in the coastal city of Dawei, two in Bago and one in Yangon.
Independent verification of the data is not possible. The police are accused of using rubber bullets and tear gas, and later also using live ammunition, against demonstrators. Protesters are said to have been shot in the head, reported the online portal Myanmar Now; the British Guardian has previously reported targeted head shots at protesters. CNN spoke of the bloodiest day since the February 1st military coup.
The protests are directed against the military. After the junta sacked Myanmar’s UN ambassador, Kyaw Moe Tun, the situation worsened over the weekend. He had appealed to the world community to use “all means necessary” to end military rule in his country.
On February 1, the military took power in the Southeast Asian country in a coup. The government of de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, democratically elected in November, was dismissed and arrested. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets against the army. At least five people have died in connection with the protests in the past few weeks.
At the rallies over the weekend, pictures distributed by Frontier Myanmar show demonstrators who have erected barricades in downtown Yangon. Some carry signs that read: “Protect the people. Protect democracy. “
The Canadian embassy on site was appalled at the increasing violence against unarmed demonstrators. One commemorates the dead and injured who campaigned for “a peaceful return to a democratic government in Myanmar,” said a message from the embassy.