One woman shot and wounded in Myanmar police's crackdown on protests

WION Web Team
Yangon, Myanmar Published: Feb 27, 2021, 07:07 PM(IST)

Protests in Myanmar Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The violence came after Myanmar's UN envoy, saying he was speaking for the ousted civilian government, urged the United Nations to use "any means necessary" to reverse the February 1 coup.

At least one woman was shot and wounded, and hundreds of people were arrested as police launched their most sweeping crackdown in three weeks of protests against military rule on Saturday in towns and cities across Myanmar.

Three domestic media outlets said earlier that the woman shot in the central town of Monwya had died but an ambulance service official said she was in hospital.

The violence came after Myanmar's UN envoy, saying he was speaking for the ousted civilian government, urged the United Nations to use "any means necessary" to reverse the February 1 coup.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide. Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

The coup, which stalled Myanmar's progress toward democracy, has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

Police were out in force in cities and towns from early on Saturday in their most determined effort yet to stamp out the protests.

Also read | Hours after Myanmar envoy's UN speech, police fire rubber bullets at protesters

State-run MRTV television said more than 470 people had been arrested across the country. It said police had given warnings before dispersing people with stun grenades.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners rights group said it believed the number of arrests was higher, with at least 10 prison buses carrying 40 to 50 people each taken to the Insein Prison in Yangon.

In the main city of Yangon, police took up positions at usual protest sites and detained people as they congregated. Several journalists were also detained.

Confrontations developed as more people came out despite the police operation.

Crowds chanted and sang then scattered into side streets and buildings as police advanced, firing tear gas, setting off stun grenades and shooting guns into the air, witnesses said.

Similar scenes played out in the second city of Mandalay and other towns, witnesses and media said. Among those detained in Mandalay was Win Mya Mya, one of two Muslim members of parliament for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD).

Also, uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi's whereabouts, as an independent media website on Friday quoted officials of her party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.

Activists called for another day of protests on Sunday.

(with inputs)

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