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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Myanmar police fire on protesters around the country, at least 18 people were killed

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said the army had previously shown restraint, but could not ignore 'anarchic mobs'

Reuters, New York Times News Service Bangkok Published 01.03.21, 01:30 AM
An injured protester receives medical attention after police and military forces cracked down on a protest against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar

An injured protester receives medical attention after police and military forces cracked down on a protest against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar NYTNS

Myanmar police fired on protesters around the country on Sunday in the bloodiest day of weeks of demonstrations against a military coup and at least 18 people were killed, the UN human rights office said.

The police were out in force early and opened fire in different parts of the biggest city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas and shots in the air failed to break up crowds. Soldiers reinforced the police.

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Several wounded people were hauled away by fellow protesters, leaving bloody smears on pavements, media images showed.

“Police and military forces have confronted peaceful demonstrations, using lethal force and less-than-lethal force that — according to credible information received by the UN Human Rights Office — has left at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded,” the UN human rights office said.

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said the army had previously shown restraint, but could not ignore “anarchic mobs”. It said “severe action will be inevitably taken” against “riotous protesters”.

Myanmar has been in chaos since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership on February 1, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

The coup, which brought a halt to tentative steps towards democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets.

Activists across Asia held rallies to support Myanmar’s protesters with the rallying cry “Milk Tea Alliance” which first united pro-democracy activists in Thailand and Hong Kong.

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