At least 18 people were killed in protests, according to the United Nations, with security forces opening fire on crowds

The armed forces in Myanmar opened fire on crowds of peaceful protesters in several cities on Sunday, killing at least 18 people, the United Nations said, as efforts by the junta to suppress weeks of mass protests against their month-old escalated violently Coup

Videos and photos captured images of bodies on the street and of people fleeing the police as tear gas and smoke filled the air The sheer ferocity of Sunday’s action – soldiers appeared to shoot arbitrarily at unarmed people on the streets and rounding up groups of demonstrators before the marches could begin – drew international reprimands

The vigorous military response signaled a new ruthless determination to quell the riots after a month when thousands have regularly turned out to protest a February 1 coup, the demonstrations and the movement of civil disobedience have priority one Questioned the military, notorious for its brutality after crushing democracy movements by shooting peaceful protesters in 1988 and 2007

“We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately stop the use of force against peaceful demonstrators,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the U.N Human Rights Office

In the southern city of Dawei, police opened fire on hundreds of people, New York Times witnesses said at least three people were killed and more than 50 injured, said Dr Tun Min, who treated the injured in a hospital. A second doctor, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, confirmed these numbers

Doctors in Mandalay confirmed three fatal shootings, and murders also took place in Yangon and Mawlamyine city, the New York Times confirmed in the United Nations statement, Yangon, Mandalay and Dawei and the cities of Myeik , Bago and Pokokku had fatalities “as a result of live ammunition”

It was the largest one-day toll since protests began following the February 1 coup that ousted the civilian government led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s most popular politician, but only three deaths from security forces were widespread as of Sunday, though Two more deaths were recently revealed in interviews with survivors

The Tatmadaw, as Myanmar’s military is called, has ruled the country for the most part for the past 60 years.But for the past decade, it gave the civilian leaders some power before taking control again in the coup

See you Sunday the junta led by Senior Gen Min Aung Hlaing had been comparatively reticent in his response to the protests and organized civil disobedience that had gripped the nation, but as the demonstrations, marches, and work stoppages continued, fear of further bloody crackdown was fully pervasive. p>

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After the killings began Sunday, Human Rights Watch urged generals to stop using lethal ammunition against protesters, saying that all deaths and injuries should be the subject of an impartial investigation

“The marked escalation of the security forces in Myanmar in the use of lethal force in several cities across the country in response to largely peaceful anti-coup protesters is outrageous and unacceptable and must be stopped immediately,” said Phil Robertson, Asia’s Deputy -Director of the group

In Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city, a protester, U Maung Maung Oo, died after being shot in the head while fleeing from police officers and soldiers. Two others were shot and wounded

U Si Thu, a doctor and protester, said he and the three victims were part of a group of about 50 people trying to escape police officers and soldiers who abandoned their planned protest before it could begin

“I don’t know where the bullet came from, but the man was shot in the forehead and went down,” said Dr Si Thu said in an interview a video of the scene posted on Twitter showed several men carrying the victim to an ambulance when blood dripped from his wound onto the floor

Minutes after the ambulance left, an army truck stopped at the end of the street and soldiers opened fire on the group, Dr. Si Thu said Then the other two men were wounded, one in the chest and one in the arm

Mr Maung Maung Oo was taken to the Byamaso Social Association hospital, where he died, said U Tsar Ni, a doctor there U Lei Lei, another doctor at the hospital, said a second protester also died there from a gunshot wound >

Later, after protesters in Mandalay largely dispersed, a woman was shot in the head and killed when police and soldiers cleared barricades and apparently fired arbitrarily at people in the street, a witness said DR Tsar Ni said , the woman, whose name was not published, was dead when she arrived at the Byamaso Hospital

In Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, a protester named Hein Htut Aung, 23, was shot dead during a demonstration in Thingangyun Township. His death was confirmed by the Nadi Ayar Hospital, where he was taken to Another protester in Yangon, Nyi Nyi Aung Htet Naing, was also shot dead, according to family members. The last post on his Facebook page was “#How_Many_Dead_Bodies_UN_Need_To_Take_Action?”

When teachers gathered to demonstrate at another protest location in Yangon, police began firing tear gas and rubber bullets near them, and an elementary school teacher identified as Daw Tin Nwet Yi died of a heart attack, a witness said

Police also arrested at least 100 medical students in Yangon as they prepared to march in their white coats in a separate protest, witnesses said doctors were at the forefront of the civil disobedience movement and many have refused to take theirs Taking up work in government hospitals, which was brought under military control by the coup

As the police prepared to take the medical students in trucks, neighbors poured into the street and blocked the vehicles, but the police finally pushed their way through

The first person known to have been killed in the protests this month was Ma Mya Thwate Thwate Kaing, 20, who was shot in the head by police during a demonstration in the capital, Naypyidaw in February 9 She died 10 days later and became a martyr of the movement

The day after her death, security forces shot at a crowd of protesters at a shipyard in Mandalay, killing two, including one a 16-year-old boy, and wounding dozen

U Kyi Soe, a 48-year-old jewelry dealer, was beaten by the police and died at night, according to his wife Daw Chaw Ei Thein

Mr Kyi Soe had gone to a market near the protest site to buy groceries but never came home.A friend later called to say that Mr. Kyi Soe had been badly beaten by the police

Because of a curfew, Ms. Chaw Ei Thein was only able to visit her husband’s friend’s house early the next morning. When she arrived, he was dead

“According to the witness, he was brutally beaten by the police during the protest,” she said in an interview. “I saw a very large bruise on the lower left side of his head. She said she did not do an autopsy because it was clear was that the beatings had killed him

Another victim of the shipyard protest was U Yarzar Aung, 26, a construction worker who was shot in the knee by the security forces. He was taken to a military hospital where family members were not allowed to visit him

On Wednesday, four days after the protest, the hospital contacted the family and said he had died. At that point, his wife, Daw Phyu Phyu Win, was allowed to see him. She said his body was still handcuffed to the hospital bed / p>

“When I saw him in the hospital, he had a lot of bruises and bruises on his face,” she said in an interview. “They said my husband tried to escape and that’s why they had to tie him up”

She asked to take his body to the funeral, but the doctors refused. She said they had told her he died of Covid-19 and that the body must be cremated immediately

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World news – FI – Military crackdown in Myanmar escalates with the murder of protesters

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/28/world/asia/myanmar-protests.html