At least seven people died and dozens were injured this Sunday during protests in multiple cities in Burma against the coup carried out by the military earlier this month.
According to local media, several opposing politicians and medical authority sources, security forces have fired live ammunition at protesters who have gathered in Yangon and elsewhere in the Asian country.
“Burma has become a battlefield,” complained Burmese Cardinal Charles Maung Bo in a message posted on Twitter.
According to Reuters, the police have been reinforced with army soldiers loyal to the military junta that now rules the country, led by General Min Aung Hlain.
Before the security forces resorted to live ammunition to disperse the protesters, they used stunning grenades and tear gas.
In Rangoon, a man died from a bullet in the chest after being rushed to a hospital, and another woman allegedly suffered a heart attack while on police charges, according to the victims’ medical and family sources. Three people were killed in Dawei after being hit by local police gunshots, politician Kyaw Min Htike told Reuters.
The other two deaths occurred in Mandalay, the news website Myanmar Now reports. There have also been reports of violent repression by the authorities in cities like Lashio or Myeik, but there have been no reports of deaths.
Burma has been in a state of uncertainty practically since the first day of this month when the army, which ruled the country for 50 years before paving the way for a gradual change of power about a decade ago, took over the state apparatus and arrested or removed key political leaders and imposed a one-year state of emergency.
The military says there was fraud in last November elections that gave the National League for Democracy an absolute majority by Aung San Suu Kyi – head of the de facto government and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize – and that she left the Army-affiliated Party for Solidarity and Development of the Union with a reduced representation in the Union Assembly.