Witnesses said that on Saturday, Myanmar security forces opened fire on protesters in Mandalay City, killing two people and injuring dozens of others.
The authorities were shooting while trying to force workers to return to work at the local shipyard. They are among the hundreds of thousands of workers in Myanmar who resigned to protest the military coup on February 1 and the removal of elected leaders.
More than 1,000 demonstrators gathered at the shipyard to block the police, resulting in a tense stalemate that lasted most of Saturday afternoon. Witnesses said the authorities used water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, slingshots and eventually live ammunition to break up the crowd.
The shooting took place the day after another protester died. One protester was a 20-year-old woman. On February 9, a policeman was shot in the head during a demonstration in the capital Naypyidaw. She is said to be the first person killed in protests against the coup.
Ko Kyaw Lin, a volunteer from a local medical charity, said he had been helping rescue injured demonstrators in Mandalay, but was unable to keep a sufficient distance from some of them because the security forces opened fire on people in the crowd.
He said: “When we met patients on the street, they were hit by a sniper.” “Whoever they were, they shot everyone.”
Video taken at the scene showed a man lying in a pool of blood, apparently killed by gunshot wounds to the head.
The Burmese army (Tatmadaw) has ruled the country for most of the past 60 years and held a pre-dawn coup on February 1, forcing the elected leader to be deposed and appointed the head of the civil government Aung San Suu Kyi ( Daw Aung San Suu Kyi), under house arrest.
The military also detained her party, many leaders of the National League for Democracy, including the chief executive of the state and newly elected members of the parliament who are about to be sworn in at the current ongoing swearing-in. More than 500 politicians and military critics, many of which are free of charge.
The coup immediately triggered protests across the country and triggered widespread labor strikes, leading to a growing civil disobedience movement. One of the key objectives of the shutdown is to help the military’s key entities collecting taxes, including the tax bureau, the government’s Ministry of Electricity, and private banks.
Saturday is the bloodiest day Protests so far. The conflict began when the police tried to force several workers to sail from Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city. Follow the Irrawaddy River for about 200 miles to the city of Bhamo.
These people refused, and a group of supporters gathered near the dirt road and food stalls near the small Yatanarpon shipyard. The man rolled the barrel into the street to build a roadblock to stop the police.
On-site video shows that the police chased the demonstrators, beat some demonstrators with truncheons, and arrested anyone they might have caught. With a shot, some people hid and went into hiding.
Some police officers used slingshots to shoot rocks and other projectiles at the protesters. They also littered the streets with dazzling clusters of screws to cut the feet of protesters wearing sandals while running.
As the afternoon passed, the police became more active and started firing live ammunition into the crowd. A video shows a group of policemen walking towards the demonstrators and firing weapons at them. It is not clear whether they are firing rubber bullets or live ammunition.
Most, if not all, the injured were shot. Volunteer military doctors took many of them to a nearby monastery for treatment, but some of the wounded were arrested.
38-year-old Ko Min Kyaw, a dock worker at the shipyard, participated in the demonstration and one of them was injured.
He said: “We are peacefully protesting against the military coup.” “The police started shooting with slingshots, and then they fired live ammunition at us.”
Mr. Min Kyaw said that he ran away but was shot in the thigh, causing a wound that required six stitches. Even if the medical staff took him to the monastery, he could still hear gunfire. He said, but injury will not prevent him from protesting against the army.
He said: “Now, our people must protect ourselves because the police and soldiers who should protect us are actively attacking us.” “We will fight the regime until it is eradicated from our country. We will never give up. “
In Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, thousands of demonstrators launched multiple peaceful protests in different locations to protest the coup. This strategy can reduce the risk of police violent reactions.
The authorities set up roadblocks near the Sule Pagoda in Yangon, the site of large-scale demonstrations earlier this month, so protesters gathered in other parts of the city. Some staged parades. Others use creative methods to block the streets.
To prevent the police from evacuating police from the intersection, some protesters pretended to faint or made them need to tie their shoes. Others spilled a few bags of onions. Then, they hurriedly picked up the onions and put them in a bag with holes so that they could land on the street again.
Mya Thwate Thwate Kaing, a student protester who died in Naypyidaw last Friday, has become a martyr of the protest movement and has aroused domestic and international attention. Her funeral is scheduled for Sunday.
Last week, she was only 20 years old when she lay in the hospital in a vegetative state, and she can only survive on a ventilator.
A video of the moment she was taken shows her standing near a bus stop-away from the police line-where she and other protesters took refuge. When she turned to leave, she was shot on the side of the head and fell to the ground.
In Washington, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the Biden administration was saddened by her death and expressed condolences to her family.
He said: “We condemn any acts of violence against the Burmese people and reiterate our call on the Burmese army to avoid violence against peaceful demonstrators.”
Ms. Mya Thwate Thwate Kaing protested with her sister Mya Thadoe Nwe, who said that when the police started using water cannons, they hid near the bus stop. She said that her sister did not pose a threat to the police and was protesting peacefully.
Although her sister died, Ms. Mya Thadoe Nwe had no intention of giving up the protest and hoped that her sister would not sacrifice in vain.
She said: “We will continue to fight until we win.” “We need to continue to fight until we overthrow the regime.”