.
.
.
.

Two Myanmar protesters killed in police fire during demonstrations

Published: Updated:

Two protesters were killed by gunshot wounds to the head in Myanmar on Monday, witnesses said, while shops, factories and banks were closed in the main city Yangon as part of the uprising against the country’s military rulers.

Photos posted on Facebook showed the bodies of two men lying on the street in the northern town of Myitkyina.

Witnesses said they were taking part in a protest when police fired stun grenades and tear gas. Several people were then hit by gunfire from buildings nearby.

For all the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

One witness, who said he helped move the bodies, told Reuters two people were shot in the head and died on the spot. Three people were injured.

“How inhumane to kill unarmed civilians,” said the witness, a 20-year-old man. “We must have our right to protest peacefully.”

Anti-coup protesters standing behind barricades standoff with a group of police in Yangon, Myanmar Thursday, March 4, 2021. (AP)
Anti-coup protesters standing behind barricades standoff with a group of police in Yangon, Myanmar Thursday, March 4, 2021. (AP)

It was not immediately clear who fired on the protesters although both police and the military were at the protest, the witnesses said.

Police and military have killed more than 50 people to quell daily demonstrations and strikes against the Feb. 1 coup, according to the United Nations last week.

Police fire a water cannon at protesters rallying against the military coup and to demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, February 9, 2021. (Reuters)
Police fire a water cannon at protesters rallying against the military coup and to demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, February 9, 2021. (Reuters)

Crowds demonstrating against the coup gathered in Yangon as well as the second-biggest city, Mandalay and several other towns, according to videos posted on Facebook. Protesters in Dawei, a coastal town in the south, were protected by the Karen National Union, an ethnic armed group engaged a long-running war with the military.

Protesters waved flags fashioned from htamain (women’s sarongs) in some places or hung them up on lines across the street to mark International Women’s Day while denouncing the junta. Walking beneath women’s sarongs is traditionally considered bad luck for men and tends to slow down police and soldiers.

State media said security forces were keeping a presence at hospitals and universities as part of efforts to enforce the law.

Read more:

Escalating violence ups pressure for sanctions against Myanmar’s junta

Myanmar coup: Protesters back on streets after night raids by security forces