Dozens of Protesters Killed by Myanmar Police Amid Unrest Over Military Coup

Police advance on the street during protests against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar, February 20, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Myanmar has imposed martial law in parts of the country’s largest city after a crackdown on peaceful protests opposing last month’s military coup resulted in the deaths of dozens of people over the weekend.

State television in Myanmar, also known as Burma, said that martial law had been imposed in several districts in Yangon — North Dagon, South Dagon, Dagon Seikkan and North Okkalapa districts, The Associated Press reported, citing MRTV. Two other districts in the city — Hlaing Thar Yar and neighboring Shwepyitha – were put under martial law on Sunday, the news agency said.

At least 38 people were reportedly killed on Sunday and dozens injured in one of the deadliest days of violence since the military seized power on Feb. 1, according to the AP. Myanmar Now, an independent news source citing hospital sources, put Sunday’s death toll at 59 — most in Yangon. Another independent source, The Irrawaddy said the figure was 70. The AP said witnesses and media reported another six people killed on Monday.

In the past six weeks, supporters of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi have taken to the streets in ongoing protests against the new military government. The junta has responded with an ever-harsher crackdown by security forces.

Protesters again marched on Monday in Mandalay, Myingyan and Aunglan, where witnesses told Reuters that police opened fire on them.

“One girl got shot in the head and a boy got shot in the face,” an 18-year-old protester in Myingyan told the news agency by telephone. “I’m now hiding.”

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SOURCE: NPR, Scott Neuman

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