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Burmese security forces shoot 2 dead in Mandalay: reports




Myanmar riot police opened fire on anti-coup protesters in the country’s second-largest city, Mandalay, on Saturday, killing two of them, local media reported.

The incident occurred while a protest was held near the shipyard. After participants surrounded the security forces that arrived at the scene, the latter fired, possibly using live ammunition.

People take to the streets of Yangon, Myanmar on February 19, 2021, to protest the February 1 military coup. (Kyodo) == Kyodo

One of those who died was shot in the head, the other in the chest. About 20 others were injured.

Images and photos posted on social media showed citizens fleeing the water spills and some with injured heads and backs.

The two deaths came a day after the first protester killed since the protests began after the February 1 military coup died at the capital Naypyitaw hospital after 10 days of resuscitation.

Earlier on Saturday, in the largest city of Yangon, a rally was held in memory of 20-year-old student Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, who was shot in the head while participating in a protest on the 9th. February.

Authorities say a police officer also died from injuries sustained during a protest, which would bring the total death toll since the coup to four.

On Saturday evening, Singapore’s Foreign Ministry, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, berated Myanmar’s security forces and called for restraint.

“We are appalled at reports of civilian casualties as a result of the use of lethal force by security forces against protesters in Myanmar. The use of lethal weapons against unarmed civilians is inexcusable,” said the ministry in a press release.

“We strongly urge the security forces to exercise the utmost restraint to avoid further injury and loss of life, and to take immediate action to defuse the situation and restore calm.”

“If the situation continues to worsen, there will be serious adverse consequences for Myanmar and the region,” he warned.

ASEAN, which also includes Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, plans to urgently organize a special meeting of foreign ministers on the situation in Myanmar, as proposed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Also on Saturday, ethnic minority groups called on the Japanese government for help in securing the freedom of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other detainees.

Hundreds of anti-coup protesters carrying the flags of each ethnic group gathered outside the Japanese embassy where a representative of the protesters’ Chin ethnic group read aloud an open letter in Japanese and English asking support for the release of all detained persons and the achievement of democracy.

Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Maruyama himself received it personally and replied, “We are not ignoring the voice of the people of Myanmar. We call on the armed forces to release detainees and resolve democratic issues.”

His remarks drew applause.

Similarly, the peace negotiation team of 10 armed groups belonging to ethnic minorities signatories to the National Ceasefire Agreement issued a statement on Saturday saying it had decided to suspend the peace negotiations with “the military junta” and to support the civil disobedience movement.

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