Activists say 38 protesters have been killed in one of the bloodiest days yet in Myanmar since the military coup. Security forces opened fire in an area of Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, with protesters using sticks and knives.
Myanmar protests still raging after military coup
The military declared martial law in the area after Chinese businesses were attacked. Protesters believe China is giving support to the military but it is unclear who was behind the attacks. Myanmar has been gripped by protests since the military coup on 1 February.
Military rulers have detained Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s civilian leader and head of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party. The NLD won in a landslide in last year’s election but the military alleged there had been widespread fraud.
Some of the ousted MPs have refused to accept last month’s coup and have gone into hiding. In his first public address, their leader Mahn Win Khaing Than urged protesters to defend themselves against the military crackdown during what he called a “revolution”.
“This is the darkest moment of the nation and the moment that the dawn is close,” he said, adding: “The uprising must win.”
A Myanmar nun, Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng, kneeled before police officers in the city of Myitkyina to ask security forces to refrain from violence against children and residents https://t.co/ojnACSHY1I pic.twitter.com/eKSd7XM7se
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 9, 2021
Christian nuns beg soldiers to stop the killing
At least 21 people were reportedly killed in Yangon on Sunday. Further deaths and injuries were reported elsewhere in the country. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group said the day’s death toll was at least 38.
Medical workers said the number of people killed in the Yangon area of Hlaing Tharyar was likely to rise, with dozens suffering gunshot wounds.
The junta has declared martial law in Hlaing Tharyar and neighbouring Shwepyitha after China said Chinese factories in the area had been targeted and demanded protection.
Beijing said people armed with iron bars, axes and petrol had set alight and damaged 10 Chinese facilities – mostly clothing production or storage factories – in Yangon. A Chinese hotel was also attacked.