Published: Sat, February 20, 2021

Two killed in Myanmar’s Mandalay city in bloodiest day of protests

Two killed in Myanmar’s Mandalay city in bloodiest day of protests

Earlier, security forces in Myanmar ratcheted up their pressure against anti-coup protesters, using water cannons, tear gas, slingshots and rubber bullets against demonstrators and striking dock workers in Mandalay, the nation's second-largest city.

"Twenty people were injured and two are dead", said Ko Aung, a leader of the Parahita Darhi volunteer emergency service agency.

Immediately after her shooting, Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing became a household name across Myanmar and a rallying point for a civil disobedience campaign against the new military regime. Amnesty said the images were taken from a location near the Thabyegone Roundabout, across the road from where a young woman was shot. Another one died later with a bullet wound to the chest."Police were not available for comment". Opponents of the coup are sceptical of the army's promise to hold a new election and hand power to the victor.

Ms Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, 20, had been on life support since being taken to hospital on Feb 9, after she was hit by what doctors said was a live bullet at a protest in the capital, Naypyitaw.

A young woman protester died on Friday after being shot in the head last week as police dispersed a crowd in the capital, Naypyitaw, the first death among anti-coup demonstrators.

Protests against the coup that overthrew the elected government of the veteran democracy campaigner have taken place across the diverse country, even though the military has promised to hold a new election and hand power to the victor.

Yesterday's death triggered a fresh wave of protest and anger.

She was the first fatality from the anti-coup movement, though authorities say a policeman also died from injuries sustained in a protest.

On Saturday, protests continued in Yangon, the country's largest city, while people mourned her death with wreaths and photographs.

Suu Kyi, 75, like the top generals, is a member of the majority Burman community. The electoral commission had dismissed the fraud complaints.

The protests have so far been more peaceful than the bloodily suppressed demonstrations during almost 50 years of direct military rule up to 2011.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price offered his government's condolences on Friday and reiterated calls on the military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters.

On Saturday, hundreds of police gathered at Yadanarbon shipyard in Mandalay, on the Irrawaddy river.

The US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have announced limited sanctions, with a focus on military leaders, including banning travel and freezing assets.

Condemnation of the violence has been fierce, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has held talks with allied countries in recent days to press for a firm global response. There is little history of Myanmar's generals, with closer ties to China and to Russian Federation, giving in to Western pressure.

Almost 550 people have been detained since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Ms Suu Kyi, 75, faces a charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law as well as charges of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios. Her next court appearance is on March 1.

The Canadian government also announced sanctions against nine officers, including coup leaders Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Vice-Senior General Soe Win and chairman and vice-chairman of the State Administrative Council (SAC) formed by the junta.

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