Riot police opened fire to disperse protesters in Myanmar’s largest city Yangon. Witnesses say they used guns and stun grenades.
Protesters have been taking to the streets since the elected government was overthrown in a military coup on February 1st. The military has now officially annulled the results from last November’s election. Earlier this month it replaced the election commission, which had ruled the party of Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory.
The protest march was quickly gripped by panic as shots rang out in Yangon. Witnesses say police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
Hundreds of people had turned out once again, blocking roads in Myanmar’s commercial center, their defiance openly on display.
But police soon moved in to clear them – banging a warning drum with their truncheons against their shields. And there was an even more severe crackdown in Myanmar’s second-largest city, Mandalay – with several people requiring medical treatment for their injuries. There have been daily protests and strikes throughout Myanmar since the military took power on February 1st, despite the threat of a violent crackdown constantly looming.
Elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has not been seen in public since the coup. And her lawyer says he’s been allowed no contact. Suu Kyi is due to appear in court on Monday, and time is running out to prepare her defense. Outside her Yangon mansion, a group of supporters gathered to offer prayers for her release.
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