Myanmar security forces surround, arrest protesters as US calls for withdrawal 

WION Web Team
Yangon  Published: Mar 10, 2021, 08:33 PM(IST)

Protesters take cover as they clash with riot police officers during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 28, 2021 Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In New York, the UN Security Council failed to agree on a statement that would have condemned the coup in Myanmar, called for restraint by the military and threatened to consider 'further measures'

Myanmar security forces fired tear gas and surrounded hundreds of anti-junta protesters at two places in Yangon on Wednesday, witnesses said, prompting the US Embassy to call for their withdrawal. 

In New York, the UN Security Council failed to agree on a statement that would have condemned the coup in Myanmar, called for restraint by the military and threatened to consider 'further measures'. 

Talks on the statement would likely continue, diplomats said, after China, Russia, India and Vietnam all suggested amendments late on Tuesday to a British draft, including removal of the reference to a coup and the threat to consider further action. 

More than 60 protesters have been killed and 1,900 people have been arrested in the turmoil in Myanmar since the February 1 coup, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an advocacy group, has said. 

The military has brushed off condemnation of its actions, as it has in past periods of army rule when outbreaks of protest were forcibly repressed. 

On Wednesday, police stormed a compound in Yangon housing railway staff and surrounded hundreds of protesters in North Okkalapa district, in another part of the city. More than 100 people were arrested at the two sites, witnesses said. 

Many of the railway staff are part of a civil disobedience movement that has crippled government business and included strikes at banks, factories and shops since the army ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government. 

"We are seeing reports of innocent students and civilians surrounded by security forces in North Okkalapa, as well as arrests," the US Embassy said in a statement. 

"We call on those security forces to withdraw from the area, release those detained, and allow people to depart safely." 

Police and army officials did not respond to requests for comment. 

On Tuesday, Zaw Myat Linn, an official from Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), died in custody after he was arrested, the second party figure to die in detention in two days. 

"He's been participating continuously in the protests," said Ba Myo Thein, a member of the dissolved upper house of parliament. The cause of death was not clear. 

In a Facebook live broadcast before he was detained, Zaw Myat Linn urged people to continue fighting the army, 'even if it costs our lives'. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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