About dozen killed as troops, anti-coup protesters clash in northwest Myanmar
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 08 April 2021 2:27 PM
Nearly a dozen protesters have been killed and several others injured in fresh anti-coup demonstrations and an ensuing crackdown by security forces in a town in northwest Myanmar.
Media reports said several truckloads of troops were deployed to quell protesters in the town of Taze Wednesday evening. Protesters fought back with handmade guns, knives and firebombs against the armed forces.
Security forces fired live rounds, grenades, and machine-guns at the protesters. Fighting continued into Thursday morning and at least 11 protesters were killed and about 20 wounded during violent clashes.
There was no word of any casualties among the security forces.
Taze is near the town of Kale, where at least 12 people were killed in a similar clash between troops and protesters on Wednesday.
Local residents accused the military of provocation and launching attacks on peaceful demonstrators across the troubled region.
"Taze and Kale have many hunters in the jungle," media outlets quoted a resident of the region and a youth activist as saying. "They have handmade firearms. And now they came out with their weapons in order to protect the locals, while the people were under attack by the junta."
The military in the Southeast Asian country staged a coup on February 1, ousting the government of Aung San Suu Kyi and imprisoning her and other political leaders.
Since then, waves of protests have been staged in Myanmar, demanding the release of Suu Kyi and other detained figures, and return of power to the ousted government.
More than 600 people have been killed by security forces since then, advocacy group the Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said. Nearly 50 of the dead were children.
AAPP has said 2,847 people are currently being held in detention.
The military coup has ignited international outrage and pleas for restraint, as the junta continues a violent crackdown on protesters.
On Wednesday, the Committee for Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a group representing the ousted government, said in a statement that it had gathered 180,000 pieces of evidence showing alleged rights abuses by the junta, including torture and extrajudicial killings.
A lawmaker for the CPRH, which comprises lawmakers from Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, met UN investigators earlier in the day to discuss atrocities by the junta.
The military has justified the coup, saying Suu Kyi's party had won elections in late 2020 by rigging votes.
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