At least nine protesters were killed by Burmese security forces Wednesday as the military has started to crack down on demonstrations against last month’s military coup, according to a report. Protesters have taken to the streets across the country since the military ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb.1. She was arrested along with President Win Myint and most members of her administration.
Protests turn deadly in Myanmar
Demonstrators are demanding Suu Kyi be restored to power in defiance of the military’s allegations of fraud in her party’s landslide win in November.
Wednesday’s deaths are in addition to more than a dozen others killed by police during protests and more than 1,000 arrests, Reuters reported. Confirming reports of protesters’ deaths has been difficult amid the chaos and general lack of official news.
Two protesters were killed in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, Wednesday, one in largest city Yangon and one in Myingyan, Reuters reported. The Monywa Gazette reported another five killed.
“They opened fire on us with live bullets,” a protester in Myingyan told Reuters. “One was killed, he’s young, a teenage boy, shot in the head.”
Along with rubber bullets and tear gas, multiple reports from several cities and towns, difficult to independently confirm, said Burmese police have used live ammunition.
Myanmar police open fire on peaceful protesters in Pathein, Myanmar. 4/3/21.
— phone (@bypmm_) March 4, 2021
Burmese troops fire on protestors
Burmese security forces on Wednesday continued to attack peaceful protesters in defiance of the plea for peace from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Burma is a neighbor.
The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold a closed meeting on the situation on Friday, council diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement. The United Kingdom requested the meeting, they said.
But any kind of coordinated action at the United Nations would be difficult since two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and Russia, would almost certainly veto it. Some countries have imposed or are considering imposing their own sanctions.
The government fired its ambassador to the United Nations on Saturday night for condemning the coup — or as the military called it, “betraying” the country.