Myanmar: Dozens killed as massive protests erupt against military coup

Ajeyo Basu

LAST UPDATED: March 1, 2021, 12:58 p.m.

Yangon: On Sunday, police opened fire on people protesting against the military coup in Myanmar. At least 18 protesters were killed, while more than 30 people were injured in the incident.

There have also been reports of people being killed in Myanmar’s cities such as Yangon, Dawei and Mandalay, as the police have used real bullets and tear gas to quell protests. Tear gas shells and grenades were also used at many places.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the violent crackdown in Myanmar. He is deeply disturbed by the increase in deaths and serious injuries. The use of lethal force against peaceful protestors and arbitrary arrests are unacceptable.

 

“The Secretary-General urges the international community to come together and send a clear signal to the military that it must respect the will of the people of Myanmar as expressed through the election and stop the repression,” the United Nations (UN) said in a statement.

“The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy. These fundamental rights must be respected by the military and police, not met with violent and bloody repression,” the statement added.

Demand to hand over power

The protesters are demanding the handing over of power to the elected government of Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Security forces also took violent action in the small town of Dawei in southeastern Myanmar. According to local media news, three people were killed during a demonstration. However, the number of casualties has not been confirmed yet.

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Protesters seen escaping

The violence erupted on Sunday when medical students were marching on the streets of the capital. In the released photos and videos of the incident, the protesters are seen running away when the police tightened them. 

There is no information about any casualties in the capital at the moment. Gun shots were heard on the streets and a smoke grenade is also believed to have been hurled at the crowd.

More than 800 arrested so far

According to an independent association to help political prisoners, 854 people have been arrested so far. Cases have been registered against them under the sections related to the coup. 

Apart from this, 771 people have been kept in custody. According to the group, there have been 75 new arrests recently. It is being told that hundreds of people have been picked up from Yangon and elsewhere on Saturday.

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