Security Forces Open Fire On Protesters In Myanmar

Security Forces Open Fire On Protesters In Myanmar 4

Security forces opened fire Thursday on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar’s eastern Karen state, as demonstrators took to the streets in nationwide dawn rallies to demand a return to democracy.

The military junta has unleashed a deadly wave of violence as it struggles to quell nationwide protests against the February 1 ouster and arrest of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

But protesters have continued calling for the military to step down, defying nighttime curfews to stage candlelight vigils for the dead, and taking to the streets early in dawn marches to avoid security forces.

In the city of Hpa-An in Karen state, protesters were preparing sandbags around 6:00am on Thursday (2330 GMT Wednesday) when scores of soldiers and police swooped in and tried to clear the streets using stun grenades.

“After that, they shot with rubber bullets as well as real bullets, about 50 shots,” a protester told AFP by phone.

“A student got shot in the thigh by a live round and is now receiving medical treatment.”

A local resident confirmed the crackdown to AFP, saying it started before the protest had got under way.

Despite the police action, protesters in Hpa-An continued staging impromptu gatherings throughout the day, driving through the town and flashing the three-finger salute — a sign of resistance against the junta.

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