Myanmar coup: At least two killed as police disperse protesters

Photo Courtesy: Reuters

(BBC): At least two people have been killed in protests in Myanmar against a military coup, the worst violence yet in more than two weeks of demonstrations.

Police used live ammunition to disperse demonstrators in Mandalay, reports from the ground said. At least 20 people were injured.

Hundreds had gathered for the rally at a shipyard in Myanmar’s second largest city.

The coup saw the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.

Protesters are demanding that she be released, along with other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. She is under house arrest, accused of possessing illegal walkie-talkies and violating the country’s Natural Disaster Law.

The military allege the NLD’s landslide election win last year was fraudulent but have not provided proof.

Clashes broke out in Mandalay when police confronted protesters and striking shipyard workers.

Reports say some protesters flung projectiles at police, who responded with live fire and tear gas.

Images show protesters holding up what appear to be bullet cartridges.

The British embassy said it was “saddened” to hear the reports, urging the Myanmar military to “stop all violence against peaceful protesters”.

The EU said it strongly condemned the violence.

On Friday a young woman became the first confirmed death from the protests.

Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing was shot in the head, with rights groups saying her injuries were consistent with live ammunition. Police denied using lethal force.