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Woman killed at Myanmar protest

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Woman killed at Myanmar protest

Authorities stepping up use of force, Suu Kyi ‘moved to unknown location’

An image from a video posted on social media shows a demonstrator reacting as teargas is used against protesters in Monywa, Myanmar on Saturday. One woman at the rally was reported killed. (Reuters Photo)
An image from a video posted on social media shows a demonstrator reacting as teargas is used against protesters in Monywa, Myanmar on Saturday. One woman at the rally was reported killed. (Reuters Photo)

A woman who was participating in a demonstration against the Feb 1 military coup was shot dead on Saturday in Monywa in central Myanmar, local media reported.

Several other demonstrators were reportedly injured. The woman is believed to have been shot by security forces, who were dispatched to disband demonstrators in the area and repeatedly discharged a water cannon.

The rally had barely started before police and soldiers moved in on demonstrators, a medic with a local emergency rescue team told AFP.

The local media outlet Monywa Gazette said on its official Facebook page that its CEO, Kyaw Kyaw Win, was beaten and arrested by plainclothes police while he was broadcasting a live video.

A similar arrest took place in eastern Chin state, where the CEO of the Hakha Times, Pu Lalawmpuia was arrested while broadcasting online.

“When we called the police, we were told to discuss it tomorrow,” chief editor Salai KB Thawng told AFP, adding that five other protesters were also nabbed.

At least four other protesters have been shot dead by security forces in incidents in Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay during demonstrations against the military takeover in the past three weeks. One police officer is also reported to have died in a clash.

Tensions have also been mounting as uncertainty remains over the whereabouts of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She was moved from her home in Nay Pyi Taw last Saturday to an undisclosed location, a local news outlet reported on Friday, citing sources within her National League for Democracy party.

The military had been keeping Aung San Suu Kyi at her home since it detained her and other top government figures in early morning raids as part of its coup.

Since the coup, more than 770 people have been arrested, charged and sentenced, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group, with some 680 still behind bars.

Authorities have ramped up the use of force to suppress dissent, deploying tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse some protests. Live rounds have been used in isolated cases.

In Yangon on Saturday, police used rubber bullets to disperse a demonstration at the Myaynigone junction, the site of an hours-long standoff the day before.

At the United Nations, meanwhile, Myanmar’s ambassador — appointed by the now-deposed civilian government — broke ranks and made an emotional appeal to the international community for “the strongest possible action … to restore democracy”.

Kyaw Moe Tun also pleaded with his “brothers and sisters” in Burmese to keep fighting.

“This revolution must win,” he said, flashing the three-finger salute that has become a symbol of resistance against the junta.

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