‘Darkest moment for the nation’: More than a dozen people killed in fresh Myanmar violence

Bangkok: More than 15 people in Yangon have been killed in the latest crackdown by Myanmar security forces since the February 1 military coup, residents and local media reported on Sunday.

Nay Ko Lin, a protester and resident of Hlaing Thar Yar township, in western Yangon, said the demonstration on Sunday “was very huge and the military crackdown was very brutal”.

Anti-coup protesters carry an injured man after a clash with riot policemen and soldiers in Yangon, Myanmar.Credit:AP

He said at least 15 were killed and around 50 injured.

AP reported that “at least” four people had died in the violence.

At least one protester was killed by gunfire early Sunday in Bago city, one witness said.

Another protester died in Hpakant, west of Myintkyina city in Myanmar’s northernmost state of Kachin, local news outlets including Myintkyina News Journal and Khit Thit Media reported.

“Today we feel very proud as there are many thousands protesters in our townships. It shows that we don’t accept the unfairness and we want justice,” protester Nay Ko Lin, a protester and resident in Hlaing Thar Yar, said.

Anti-Coup protesters scatter during the ongoing police crackdown during a protest in Sanchaung township, Yangon, Myanmar.Credit:AP

The military has been responding to weeks of anti-coup protests with increasing lethality.

More than 80 people have been killed since demonstrations turned violent and more than 2000 others have been arrested, according to estimates given by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a nonprofit organisation, before the latest violence on Sunday.

China urged Myanmar on Sunday to stop violence and protect Chinese companies and personnel after attacks on Chinese-financed factories there, China’s state-run CGTN news service said.

It said that according to reports, several people were injured but the identities of arsonists had not yet been ascertained.

“China urges Myanmar to take further effective measures to stop all acts of violence, punish the perpetrators in accordance with the law and ensure the safety of life and property of Chinese companies and personnel in Myanmar,” CGTN said, quoting a Chinese embassy statement.

Mahn Win Khaing Than, the acting leader of a parallel civilian government, vowed in his first address on Saturday to pursue a “revolution” to overturn military coup.

“This is the darkest moment for the nation … this is the time for our citizens to test their resistance,” he said on Facebook.

He and other NLD politicians escaped arrest and have gone into hiding, and set up the parallel civilian government, the BBC reported.

They seek to be recognised internationally as the country’s legitimate government.

DPA, Reuters

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