At least one killed in protest in Myanmar - emergency service

Lawrence Kim
February 20, 2021

One man died from a head wound, media workers including Lin Khaing, an assistant editor with the Voice of Myanmar media outlet in the city, and a Mandalay emergency service said. Another was shot in the chest and died en route to the hospital. It also reported that Wikipedia had been blocked in all languages in the country.

Protesters in Mandalay, the country's second biggest city, set up a sidewalk shrine with candles and photos of the dead woman.

The Irrawaddy news website also confirmed the deaths on social media.

As well as the protests, a civil disobedience campaign has paralysed much of government business and worldwide pressure is building on the military.

Protesters and residents were forced to flee the neighborhood amid the violence, as security forces chased after them.

It also came a day after the first protester to be killed since the protests began following the February 1 military coup died in hospital in the capital Naypyitaw after 10 days on life support.

An impromptu memorial created under an elevated roadway in Yangon attracted around 1,000 protesters.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing received head injuries after being shot as the police opened fire with live bullets.

The young grocery worker was struck as she sheltered from a police water cannon during a mass pro-democracy rally. She had been on life support in a hospital for more than a week with what doctors said was no chance of recovery.

"We reiterate our calls on the Burmese military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters", spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

Across the country, protests showed no signs of slowing down despite recent crackdowns by the military government - including a sixth consecutive night in which the internet was cut for many hours.

The first known serious casualty of Myanmar's biggest protests in over a decade had stirred anger across the country, adding to the growing fury over the military's February 1 overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi's government, three months after her party won a second successive election in a landslide. "We will fight for democracy".

There have also been isolated reports of members of the security forces taking part in nationwide protests.

In the northern city of Myitkyina, a small group of protesters was forcefully dispersed by police and military wielding batons, according to video posted online and witnesses. The Kachin ethnic minority has always been in conflict with the central government, and there has been intermittent armed struggle against the army there for decades.

The military allege the NLD's landslide election win past year was fraudulent but have not provided proof. The junta says it will hold new elections in a year's time.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing's death comes after an overnight announcement from Britain - Myanmar's former colonial power - and Canada that several generals would be sanctioned over their roles in the junta's security forces. They have also called for the scrapping of a 2008 constitution that has assured the army a major role in politics since almost 50 years of direct military rule ended in 2011.

The army seized back power after alleging fraud in November 8 elections that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy swept, detaining her and others.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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