Eighteen Killed In Myanmar’s Bloodiest Protests Since Coup
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Security forced fired on anti-coup demonstrators in Myanmar, killing at least 18 people, the United Nations and other observers said Sunday.
The violence rocking Myanmar, also known as Burma, marked the bloodiest crackdown on protestors since the February 1 military coup sparked daily rallies.
Demonstrators protest against the junta and demand the release of the Asian nation’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Government leaders were overthrown and detained in this month’s coup by the military, condemned by the United States and other nations.
Deaths were reported in several cities, including Yangon, as well as Dawei and Mandalay, with police using live rounds and tear gas.
Security forces began the violent crackdown on Saturday, after weeks of mostly peaceful protests against the 1 February military takeover.
The day before he was killed, Sunday internet network engineer Nyi Nyi Aung Htet Naing had already warned on his Facebook website about the increasingly violent military crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Myanmar known as Burma.
He was among the first shot dead in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, on Sunday, reporters in the area said.
Footage showed protestors taking cover as they clashed with riot police officers during Sunday protests in Yangon,
“#How_Many_Dead_Bodies_UN_Need_To_Take_Action,” he wrote about the United Nations.
The United Nations Human Rights Office said at least 18 people had been killed and 30 wounded on Sunday. They brought the total number of protesters killed since the coup to at least 21. The army says one policeman has died in the unrest.
Authorities did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday’s violence. The clashes come amid mounting concerns about the treatment of minorities, including Christians,
Thousands of Christians have already fled their homes as the army of Myanmar shelled Christian villages of Karen State since the coup began, aid workers told Worthy News.
The troubles began on February 1. And, “The following weekend, the Tatmadaw, as the army is called, sent troops in 20 trucks to attack another Karen village in the middle of the night. Thankfully, the villagers had fled just hours before,” the aid group Barnabas Fund said.
“We are very concerned, knowing the cruelty of the Tatmadaw. Lord, have mercy on these people,” it quoted a project partner as saying.
“Christian villagers, including young children, the elderly and infirm, fled into the inhospitable jungle just hours before the military bombardment began,” Barnabas Fund explained.
Christians and rights groups say that for decades the army, representing the Buddhist and ethnic Burman majority, brutally oppressed the Karen and other ethnic minorities.
That reportedly even happened during the short-lived recent years of civilian democratic rule.
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