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Minggu, 28 Februari 2021

Two Myanmar protesters shot dead in police crackdown as sacked UN envoy vows to 'fight back' - ABC News

Myanmar police have shot and killed two protesters, sustaining a sweeping crackdown for a second day in a bid to end weeks of pro-democracy demonstrations.

Police opened fire in the southern town of Dawei, killing one and wounding several others, according to politician Kyaw Min Htike.

The Dawei Watch media outlet said at least one person was killed and more than a dozen wounded.

Police also fired in the main city of Yangon and one man brought to a hospital with a bullet wound in the chest had died, said a staff doctor who asked not to be identified.

Myanmar has been in chaos for a month since the army seized power and detained elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

An injured young man lying on the ground is given oxygen as he's surrounded by medical staff.
One person was killed and "more than a dozen" were injured in the southern town of Dawei.(Reuters)

The coup, which stalled Myanmar's progress toward democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

Police also threw stun grenades, used tear gas and fired into the air, witnesses said.

"We had to run and hide but I'll get out again because today is very important. If all of us get out, they can't win."

'Trying to instil fear'

A young man in blue denim shirt raises handcuffed hands above his head as police escort him on road.
The weekend has seen Myanmar police crack down on pro-democracy protesters.(Reuters)

Youth activist Esther Ze Naw said people were battling to overcome the fear of the military they had lived with for so long.

"This fear will only grow if we keep living with it and the people who are creating the fear know that," she said.

"It's obvious they're trying to instil fear in us by making us run and hide … we can't accept that," she said.

While junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities have been using minimal force, at least three protesters have died.

The army said a policeman had been killed in the unrest.

State-run MRTV television said more than 470 people had been arrested.

A man in a gas mask wearing Asian sarong runs on street in haze on tear gas within a chaotic crowd.
Police in Yangon fired tear gas to break up a crowd of protesters.(Reuters)

It said police had given warnings before using stun grenades to disperse crowds.

Several journalists were among those detained, their media organisations and colleagues said.

The weekend's violence came after Myanmar's Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun told the UN General Assembly he was speaking on behalf of Ms Suu Kyi's government and appealed for help to end the coup.

A middle-aged Asian man in dark suit, white suit & red tie, wears headset & holds up three fingers.
Kyaw Moe Tun vowed to fight on, despite being fired as Myanmar's UN ambassador.(Reuters)

MRTV television said he had been fired in accordance with civil service rules because he had "betrayed the country" and "abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador".

However, the UN has not officially recognised the junta as Myanmar's new government.

'Fight back as long as I can'

The ambassador vowed to continue his resistance, despite losing his job.

UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said he was overwhelmed by the ambassador's "remarkable act of courage".

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He said on Twitter: "It's time for the world to answer that courageous call with action."

Myanmar's generals have promised to hold a new election but have yet to set a date.

Ms Suu Kyi's party and supporters said the result of the November vote must be respected.

The 75-year-old spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule.

She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.

The next hearing in her case is set for Monday.

Myanmar protesters hold red posters with Aung San Suu Kyi's face on them.
Deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi retains strong support across Myanmar.(Reuters: Supplied)

Reuters

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2021-02-28 06:35:33Z
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