Protests against military coup in myanmar: police shoot two demonstrators dead

Dock workers in Mandalay have gone on strike in protest against the coup. On Saturday, security forces used live ammunition against them.

Police used them to target protesting dock workers in Mandalay Photo: dpa/ap

In Myanmar, two participants in protests against the military coup have been shot dead by police, according to media reports. One of the victims was hit in the head and died instantly. The second was shot in the upper body and died on the way to hospital, according to a report in the news magazine Frontier Myanmar. Police used live ammunition in the second-largest city of Mandalay on Saturday, it said. The Irrawaddy news website also confirmed the deaths of the two people on social media.

There were also reports of several people seriously injured. The shooting occurred near the Yadanabon port facility, where dock workers had joined the nationwide Civil Resistance Movement and gone on strike. Security forces used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets against the crowd there earlier.

At least five people were injured by rubber bullets and taken away in ambulances, a reporter for the ap news agency observed. About 500 police and soldiers were deployed near the Yadanabon port facility.

Demonstrators and residents fled the neighborhood in the face of violence, pursued by security forces. There were reports of gunshot-like sounds. A group of journalists had to flee after being hit by tear gas and bullets from twins.

Security forces took similar action Wednesday against state railroad workers in Mandalay who had joined the civil disobedience movement.

Commemoration of the first fatality in connection with the protests

Since the Feb. 1 military coup, Myanmar has seen mass protests against the coup. Demonstrators are demanding the release of de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been ousted and placed under arrest, and the reinstatement of the elected government.

The forces are cracking down on some of the protesters. On Friday, a young woman succumbed to her injuries after being shot by police during a protest in the capital Naypyidaw on Feb. 9. She was the first fatality in connection with the mass protests against the military coup.

Demonstrating coup opponents in the country’s two largest cities commemorated those killed. About 1,000 demonstrators took part in an impromptu memorial service in Yangon on Saturday. Participants carried placards reading "End the dictatorship in Myanmar." A protest led by medical students in Mandalay was attended by more than 1000 people. Many of them carried flowers and photos of the slain woman. Others held signs referring to the civil disobedience movement, in which members of various professions participate with work stoppages.

Despite the military government’s recent crackdown, there were no signs of a slowdown in protests nationwide on Saturday either. Although Internet access was blocked for many hours for the sixth night in a row, demonstrators elsewhere in Rangoon also gathered to demand Suu Kyi’s release.

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