At least five dead in Myanmar crackdown

At least five dead in Myanmar crackdown

World News
Forces have used tear gas and stun grenades during a crackdown on anti-coup protests in Myanmar.

Forces have used tear gas and stun grenades during a crackdown on anti-coup protests in Myanmar.

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Myanmar police have opened fired on protests against military rule, killing at least four people and wounding several on the second day of a crackdown on demo...

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Myanmar police have opened fired on protests against military rule, killing at least four people and wounding several on the second day of a crackdown on demonstrations across the country, a doctor and a politician say.

A woman also died after police broke up a teachers' protest with stun grenades in the main city of Yangon on Sunday, though the cause of her death was not known, her daughter and a colleague say.

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 and the condemnation of Western countries.

Police opened fire in parts of Yangon after stun grenades and tear gas failed to disperse crowds.

One man died after being brought to a hospital with a bullet wound in the chest, said a doctor at the hospital who asked not to be identified.

Police also opened fire in the southern town of Dawei, killing three and wounding several, politician Kyaw Min Htike told Reuters from the town.

The Irrawaddy online media outlet reported one person had been killed in the second city of Mandalay, where police also cracked down, while a charity reported two dead in the central town of Bago.

Police were also forceful in the northeastern town of Lashio and Myeik in the deep south, residents and media reported.

Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing said last week authorities were using minimal force to deal with the protests.

Nevertheless, at least five protesters have died. The army says a policeman has been killed.

The military appears determined to impose its authority in the face of widespread defiance.

In Yangon, several people were helped away, leaving blood-smeared pavements, after police fired, images posted by media showed.

Police also threw stun grenades, used tear gas and fired into the air, witnesses said. Nevertheless, hundreds of protesters refused to back down by early afternoon.

Some marched, some gathered to chant and sing and others set up barricades.

Police were out in force early in the day and moved swiftly to break up crowds. They dispersed the teachers' protest with stun grenades and one of them, Tin New Yee, later died. The cause of death might have been a heart attack, her daughter and another teacher told Reuters.

Police also hurled stun grenades outside a medical school in another part of the city, sending send doctors and students in white lab coats scattering.

State-run MRTV television said more than 470 people had been arrested on Saturday after police launched the nationwide crackdown. It was not clear how many were detained on Sunday.

The police action came after state television announced that Myanmar's UN envoy had been fired after he urged the United Nations to use "any means necessary" to reverse the coup.

But the ambassador, Kyaw Moe Tun, remained defiant, telling Reuters: "I decided to fight back as long as I can."

While Western countries have condemned the coup and some have imposed limited sanctions. The generals have promised to hold a new election but not set a date.

Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

The next hearing in her case is set for Monday.

Australian Associated Press

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