MYANMAR: In yet another violent crackdown by the security forces in Myanmar, around 18 protestors were killed and more than 30 injured, the UN human rights office reported. 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 and the condemnation of Western countries.
Several deaths were reported in Yangon, Dawei, and Mandalay among several other provinces. According to the reports, police used live rounds and tear gas on what was called the ‘deadliest day’ of the anti-coup rallies.
Security forces broke violence on the people on Saturday, after weeks of peaceful protests against the military takeover of February 1. On Sunday, the police expanded its operation as coup leaders sought to quash civil disobedience that showed no sign of ending.
Even after an intensified police crackdown, the protesters did not retreat. A protestor said that the police started shooting without a word of warning.
The police also broke an attack in Mandalay, where they used water cannon and fired into the air. It was reported that one person was killed in the incident.
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Meanwhile, protests have continued in many other areas, including the north-eastern town of Lashio. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group has put the figure of arrests made since the protests at 850, but hundreds more appear to have been detained this weekend.
Activists were also prominent across Asia, including in Taipei and Hong Kong, to support the protesters in Myanmar.
With consistent support from the US towards the people of Myanmar, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration was planning “additional actions” over the Myanmar coup and crackdown.
Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyu has not been seen in public since she was detained in the capital Nay Pyi Taw as the coup began. The coup has been widely condemned internationally, prompting sanctions against the military and other punitive moves.