Anti-coup protesters hold up placards as they protest the military coup Saturday, February 20, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar.
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The U.S. Embassy in Myanmar issued a statement on Saturday condemning the deadly police shootings against two anti-coup protesters in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, after weeks of protests.
“No one should be harmed for exercising their right to dissent,” the embassy said in a Twitter post. “We are deeply disturbed by the fatal shooting of demonstrators in Mandalay, one day after the death of Mya Thwe Thwe Khine in Nay Pyi Taw. The military must end the violence against the people of Myanmar.”
One of the victims was shot in the head and died at the scene, local reports said. Another was shot in the chest and died on the way to the hospital. He has been identified by relatives as Thet Naing Win, a 36-year-old carpenter, Reuters reports.
The shooting took place near the Yadanabon wharf in Mandalay, where around 500 police and soldiers came to the area after dockers joined the protest against the military junta which seized power in a coup. Status as of February 1.
Security forces used water cannons, tear gas, slingshot and rubber bullets against the demonstrators and beat the dockworkers.
A photo of Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing is displayed by anti-coup protesters near the Myaynigone junction on Saturday February 20, 2021, in Yangon, Myanmar.
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At least five people were injured by rubber bullets and had to be taken in ambulances, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the shooting of peaceful protesters in Myanmar: “We will consider new measures, with our international partners, against those who crush democracy and stifle dissent,” he said. in a tweet.
The two deaths and the additional serious injuries come a day after the death of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, who was shot dead in the capital, Naypyitaw, on February 9 and spent more than a week in intensive care in hospital. His death on Friday was the first confirmed death among thousands of protesters demanding the restoration of the elected government and the release of lawmakers, including Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, who were arrested in the coup d ‘State.
Video from the day she was shot shows her safe from the water cannon, when she fell to the ground after a bullet entered the motorcycle helmet she was wearing.
A female protester is headbanded after being beaten by security forces during a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay on February 20, 2021.
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US State Department spokesman Ned Price offered his government’s condolences on Friday and reiterated calls for the military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters.
On February 10, President Joe Biden imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s military leaders who led the coup that deposed and detained its elected leader Suu Kyi and others. He announced that the government is working to freeze some $ 1 billion in assets in the United States to which Myanmar’s military leaders have access.
A protester is taken away after being arrested by security forces during a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay on February 20, 2021.
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Biden said “the Myanmar army must give up the power it seized” on February 1 and release its prisoners, and called on the military to refrain from using violence, as it has done , against the demonstrators exercising their democratic rights to oppose the coup.
The national civil disobedience movement has shown no signs of slowing down despite recent crackdowns by the military government.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report
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