At least six protesters were killed by security forces in Myanmar, witnesses and media reported, as activists commemorated on Saturday the anniversary of the death of a student whose murder in 1988 sparked an uprising against the military government.
Three people were killed and several injured when police opened fire on a sit-in in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, two witnesses told Reuters. Another person was killed in the central city of Pyay and two were shot dead by police in the commercial capital Yangon overnight, national media reported.
“The security forces initially prevented the ambulance from reaching the injured people and only allowed it later,” a 23-year-old protester in Pyay, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals, told Reuters.
“By the time they allowed it, one of the wounded became critical and then died.”
The deaths came as the leaders of the United States, India, Australia and Japan vowed to work together to restore democracy in Myanmar, where violence has escalated as authorities crack down on protests and civil disobedience.
Local media reported that two protesters were shot dead by police in Yangon’s Tharketa district late Friday. DVB News said police opened fire on a crowd that gathered outside the Tharketa police station to demand the release of those arrested.
Posters were spread on social media asking people to take to the streets to protest against the junta and to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Phone Maw, who was shot and killed by security forces in 1988 within what then it was known as the Rangoon Institute of Technology. facilities.
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 of that year. An estimated 3,000 people were killed when the army crushed the uprising.
Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as an icon of democracy during the movement and was under house arrest for nearly two decades. She was released in 2008 when the military began democratic reforms and her National League for Democracy won elections in 2015 and again in November last year.
On February 1, the generals overthrew their government and detained Aung San Suu Kyi and many of her cabinet colleagues, citing fraud in the November elections.
More than 70 people have died in widespread protests since then, said the advocacy group for the Political Prisoner Assistance Association.
Britain, the former colonial power, warned its citizens in Myanmar to leave on Friday, saying “political tension and unrest are widespread since the military takeover and levels of violence are increasing.”
South Korea said it would suspend defense exchanges and reconsider development aid to Myanmar due to the violence.
The Kremlin said Russia, which has close ties to the Myanmar military, was concerned about the escalating violence and “analyzing” the possibility of suspending military-technical cooperation.
“We assess the situation as alarming, and we are concerned about the information about the growing number of civilian casualties coming from there,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism