Myanmar Coup: Police Launch Most Extensive Crackdown

Myanmar police launch most extensive crackdown; one woman shot and wounded
Police use water cannon to disperse demonstrators during a protest in Mandalay, Myanmar, Tuesday, Fe...

As thousands of people continue to participate in anti-coup rallies in Myanmar, the police launched the most sweeping crackdown in cities and towns across the country. According to the local media reports, one woman was shot and wounded as well as several others injured.

Even though there were contradicting reports about the woman’s condition, Reuters reported that she was in the hospital. Besides, the circumstances of the incident are not yet clear, and the police made no comments. The latest wave of violence against the protestors comes after a Myanmar diplomatic envoy stated that he represented the ousted civilian government and urged the United Nations to reverse the February 1 coup.

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The country has been amidst a crisis since the military ousted Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s elected government and detained several senior leaders from the ruling NLD, alleging widespread fraud in last year’s general elections. The coup that stalled the nation’s progress towards a democratic rule, attracted criticism from several western nations, with some imposing crippling restrictions and sanctions on Myanmar’s military leaders.

In their most determined effort to quell the protests, police officials were out in force in towns and cities from early on Saturday. Reuters reported that in the city Yangon police officer took a position at the venue of protests and detained many demonstrators. Reportedly, the protestors threw up barricades across streets. But later, the crowd was thinned and the police in Yangon continued to chase groups and firing into the air.

The local media reported that similar scenes were witnessed in Mandalay and arrested two Muslim lawmakers from Suu Kyi’s party. Besides, there were reports that police had also fired water cannons at protestors. Meanwhile, Burma’s military leader General Min Aung Hlaing stated that the law enforcement agencies have been using minimal force. Yet, as many as three demonstrators died during the three-day turmoil.

Moreover, the uncertainty about Suu Kyi’s whereabouts grew on Friday when media reported that she was transferred from house arrest to an undisclosed location this week. On the other hand, the protestors called for more rallies on Sunday.

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