Anti-coup protesters run after tear gas fired by riot policemen in Yangon, Myanmar. AP
Tens of thousands of people came out in Myanmar as Myanmar anti-coup demonstrators have vowed big turnouts on Sunday; the junta regime intensifies its crackdown.
In one of the biggest days of protest against last month's coup despite overnight raids by security forces in the main city Yangon which targeted officials from Aung San Suu Kyi's political party.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades in Lashio town in the country's northern Shan region, according to live video posted on Facebook. A witness said police opened fire to break up a protest in the historic temple town of Bagan but it was not clear if they were using rubber bullets or live ammunition, according to Reuters.
This photo taken on Saturday shows soldiers in a military truck in Yangon. AFP
There were no immediate reports of casualties. Protests in half a dozen other cities were peaceful.
The biggest turnout was in Myanmar's second city, Mandalay, where activists staged a sit-in protest after two minutes of silence in honour of people killed by police and the army, video showed.
Wednesday was the deadliest day so far, with the United Nations saying at least 38 people were gunned down as security forces fired into crowds, shooting some protesters in the head.
The military overthrew and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, 2021.
"It's true that in some townships NLD officials were arrested. But we do not know exactly how many persons were taken or arrested," party official Soe Win told AFP.
The United Nations says security forces have killed more than 50 people to stamp out the daily demonstrations and strikes in the Southeast Asian nation since the military overthrew and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1.
"They are killing people just like killing birds and chickens," one protest leader said to the crowd in Dawei, in the country's south. "What will we do if we don't revolt against them? We must revolt."
A policeman aims a slingshot towards an unknown target during a crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Mandalay. AP
Protests were also held in at least three places in Yangon, where residents said soldiers and police moved into several districts overnight, firing shots. They arrested at least three in Kyauktada Township, residents there said. They did not know the reason for the arrests.
"They are asking to take out my father and brother. Is no one going to help us? Don't you even touch my father and brother. Take us too if you want to take them," one woman screamed as two of them, an actor and his son, were led off.
Soldiers also came looking for a lawyer who worked for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy but were unable to find him, a member of the now dissolved parliament, Sithu Maung, said in a Facebook post.Reuters was unable to reach police for comment. A junta spokesman did not answer calls requesting comment.
The images ricochet across the planet, as so many do in this dizzying era of film it, upload it, tell it to the world: scenes from a protest-turned-government crackdown, captured at ground level by smartphone users on the streets of Myanmar.
Big article about the power of the smartphone in reporting the world’s issues, the highlight of the article being the coup in Myanmar (“Chilling smartphone imagery stuns a watching world,” Mar.20, Gulf Today). But the article, while it extols the power
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