Myanmar police shot dead four protesters on the bloodiest day since the coup

As demonstrations against the military coup, which ousted the democratically elected government of civil leader Aung San Suu Kyi, entered week four, security forces began cracking down on protesters in cities across the country.

In the largest city, Yangon, a protester was fatally shot when police opened fire on protesters, citing a hospital doctor, according to Reuters. The doctor, who did not want to be identified, said the protester was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound in the chest. The local media company Mizzima also reported on the death in Yangon’s Thingangyun Township.

In the south of the country, three people were killed and more than a dozen injured when police opened fire on protesters in Dawei city, according to Dawei Watch. Local politician Kyaw Min Htike confirmed that police in Dawei had shot demonstrators.

Most of the victims were in a single day.

The police and the spokesman for the ruling military council did not respond to comments.

Videos posted on social media captured the escalating confrontations between protesters and security forces.

Gunshots were heard on footage from the Hledan District, Yangon. Local media reported that at least five people were injured in these clashes. Gunshots were also heard on a live stream posted on social media by local media in Yangon’s Tamwe Township, which saw a crowd of protesters fleeing the police. At least five students were arrested during protests in downtown Yangon on Sunday.

Sunday marks the second day of the military’s crackdown on anti-coup protesters, which reportedly saw hundreds of people arrested, including journalists. In cities across Myanmar on Saturday, security forces fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons and fired their weapons into the air to disperse protesters.

Protesters shout slogans as police arrive in Mandalay on February 28, 2021 during a protest against the military coup.

Since the coup At least seven protesters and one police officer were killed, according to Reuters. The activist group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), said it had documented 854 people as of Saturday who have been arrested, charged or convicted since the February 1 coup. However, the group found that “hundreds of people” were arrested in Yangon and other locations on Saturday.

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UN ambassador defies the military

The clashes come a day after the ruling military junta sacked the country’s United Nations ambassador for having one passionate request at the UN General Assembly for International Aid overturn the coup.

On Saturday, State television station MRTV announced the dismissal of UN Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, saying he had “abused the power and responsibility of a permanent ambassador” and “betrayed the country”.

Kyaw Moe Tun spoke to Reuters after his release and said he had “decided to fight back as long as possible”.

Kyaw Moe Tun spoke ahead of the New York gathering on Friday against the military rulers who are now in control of the country, calling on the UN Security Council and the world to use “whatever means” to save the people of Myanmar and hold the military accountable.

“We need further, strongest possible measures from the international community to end the military coup immediately, stop the repression of the innocent people, return state power to the people and restore democracy,” he said.

Myanmar's UN Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun speaks at the General Assembly on February 26.

Kyaw Moe Tun said he delivered the speech on behalf of Suu Kyi’s government, which won a landslide in the November 8 election. Suu Kyi has now been arrested along with other heads of government, including President Win Myint.

The ambassador defiantly also displayed the three-fingered “Hunger Games” greeting used by demonstrators on the streets of Myanmar and borrowed from recent protests in neighboring Thailand.

The diplomat received a rare applause from his UN colleagues at the end of the speech. The new US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, praised the envoy’s “courageous” remarks.

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“The United States continues to strongly condemn the military coup in Myanmar,” she said on Friday before the meeting. “And we condemn the brutal killing of unarmed people by the security forces.”

Thomas-Greenfield added that the US “will continue to provide life-saving humanitarian aid, including to Rohingya and other vulnerable populations in Chin, Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states.”

Richard Roth, Hamdi Alkhshali, Kristina Sgueglia and Zamira Rahim from CNN contributed.

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