Myanmar Coup: Protesters killed as police fire live ammunition

Myanmar

Security forces in Myanmar once again met protests against last month’s military takeover with lethal force on Saturday, killing at least four people by shooting live ammunition at demonstrators, witnesses and local media reported.
Three deaths were reported in Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city, and one in Pyay, a town in south-central Myanmar. There were multiple reports on social media of the deaths, along with photos of dead and wounded people in both locations.
More than 70 people have been killed in Myanmar in widespread protests against a February 1 military coup, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group has said, a figure supported by the independent UN human rights expert for Myanmar, Tom Andrews.
International news agency Al Jazeera’s Tony Cheng, reporting from neighbouring Thailand, said the protests have also spread to smaller towns.
“We have also seen protests spread widely … not just in large urban centres where they were immediately after the coup but in small towns all across the country,” he said. “And in slightly unsettled ethnic areas too. We’re hearing from protesters that they’re continuing to come out very much aware of the dangers they face and they say they are absolutely committed to this, realising this is their one chance of trying to turn back the clocks on the coup.” Tony further said.
The deaths came as the leaders of the United States, India, Australia and Japan promised to work together to restore democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.
Saturday’s protests erupted after posters spread on social media urging people to mark the death anniversary of Phone Maw, who was shot and killed by security forces in 1988 inside what was then known as the Rangoon Institute of Technology campus.
His shooting and that of another student who died a few weeks later sparked widespread protests against the military government known as the 8-8-88 campaign, because they peaked in August that year.
An estimated 3,000 people were killed when the army crushed the uprising, at the time the biggest challenge to military rule dating back to 1962.
Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as a democracy icon during the movement and was kept under house arrest for nearly two decades.
She was released in 2008 as the military began democratic reforms and her National League for Democracy won elections in 2015 and again in November last year.
On February 1 this year, the generals overthrew her government and detained Aung San Suu Kyi and many of her cabinet colleagues, claiming fraud in the November elections.
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