Five Killed In Myanmar As Troops Open Fire on Protesters
By Staff, Agencies
Myanmar troops fired at anti-coup protesters on Wednesday, killing at least five people and wounding several, media said, as activists defied a bloody crackdown and internet blockade by the ruling junta.
More than 580 people have been killed, according to an activist group, in the turmoil in Myanmar since a February 1 coup that ended a brief period of civilian-led democracy. Nationwide protests and strikes have persisted since then despite the ruling military’s use of lethal force to quell the opposition.
Security forces opened fire on Wednesday on protesters in the northwestern town of Kale as they demanded the restoration of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government, a resident told Reuters.
News outlets cited witnesses saying there were casualties and repeated gunfire. The Mizzima and Irrawaddy news outlets said five people were killed and several wounded.
The Kale resident said the information was provided to him by witnesses, who took pictures of five bodies.
The mostly youth-led anti-coup movement’s ability to organize campaigns and share information via social media and instant messaging has been severely hamstrung by curbs on broadband wireless internet and mobile data services.
Fixed-line services, which few in Myanmar have access to, are available.
With print media also halted, protesters have sought workarounds to get their message across, producing their own A4-sized daily news pamphlets that are shared digitally and printed for distribution among the public.
According to the Association for Political Prisoners [AAPP] advocacy group, 581 people, including dozens of children, have been shot dead by troops and police in almost daily unrest since the coup, and security forces have arrested close to 3,500 people, with 2,750 still detained.