Hospitals were still filling with dead or wounded protesters late Sunday night as security forces continue to wage war on civilians opposed to military rule
Six weeks after seizing power, Myanmar’s military council carried out its deadliest assault yet on unarmed protesters over the weekend, killing at least 18 people in one Yangon township alone. Casualties were reported around the country, including more than 30 confirmed deaths in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar, Thingangyun, Shwepyithar, and South Dagon townships on Sunday. Hundreds more have been injured, many of them critically, as security forces used live ammunition against civilians in an effort to terrorise the population into submission.
Below are some of the casualties reported during two days of brutal oppression that mark the latest escalation in the regime’s relentless drive to impose its will on an entire nation. For full reports on the two sites that witnessed the deadliest violence, see here and here.
Four people were killed and at least 13 were injured in Twante township, west of Yangon, on Saturday due to a violent crackdown by security forces, according to a local source close to a humanitarian group.
Fifteen trucks from Light Infantry Division (LID) 77 arrived from Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon at around 2pm and started firing at protesters, killing two people and injuring 10 others on the spot, the source said.
Five of the 10 injured protesters were taken to Mingaladon hospital at around 6:30pm. Two died en route to the hospital.
The two who died on the way to the hospital were 35-year-old Maung Paing and 25-year-old Hla Min Thu. Their families were contacted on Sunday afternoon and told to collect the bodies, according to relatives who spoke to Myanmar Now.
“We’re preparing to collect the body. They’ve allowed us to get the body back so we’re taking his ID card, the family household registration and a photo of him to the hospital,” a member of Hla Min Thu’s family said.
Hla Min Thu is survived by his wife and two children, ages three and five. He supported his family by selling ice-cream, a neighbour said.
The neighbour added that Hla Min Thu was shot while working as a motorcycle taxi driver, a job that he started doing because his regular business was not doing well.
“It’s very unfortunate. He was a simple man, he never went to protests. He was just making a living. That day, he couldn’t go out to do his usual business, so he was giving taxi rides on his bike,” the neighbour said.
His body was claimed at the hospital by his wife and his sister-in-law, she added.
One of the other two deceased was 23-year-old Tun Lin Aung, who died from a head injury. His body and that of an unidentified man who was killed at the same time are being held at Twante township hospital.
So far, the families of the deceased have been unable to collect their bodies from the hospital due to the presence of soldiers from LID 77.
“We don’t know if the dead bodies will be returned or not. Currently, they’re in the morgue,” a local person familiar with the situation told Myanmar Now.
Soldiers were still stationed at the hospital and near the clock tower on Strand road on Sunday, while other security forces patrolled the town.
Locals said that more troops from LID 77 were stationed with Infantry Battalion 70 a mile south of Twante.
No protests were held in Twante on Sunday morning, but there were isolated demonstrations on the major roads connecting Twante and other townships, a 32-year-old protest leader said.
“We’re fighting to get back our democracy and will continue fighting until we get it,” she said.
She added that despite potential crackdowns, flash protests would continue to keep up the momentum.
One person was killed and five injured due to the military council’s violent crackdown on protesters in Kachin state’s Hpakant township on Saturday.
Locals from the wards of Seik Mu, Mashi Ka Htaung and Seng Taung in Hpakant were protesting against the dictatorship at around 11am when security forces opened fire, a Hpakant resident said.
“Locals from three wards gathered for a march. But the crackdown was in Mashi Ka Htaung. One was shot in the chest and killed. Two others are in critical condition,” the source said.
The person killed was 30-year-old Kyaw Lin Htike, a native of Moe Kaung. Among the five injured, two are in critical condition after being shot in the thigh and stomach. They are currently being treated at the Shwe Pyi Thit hospital.
One person was killed and at least eight others were injured during a crackdown in Bago on Sunday morning.
“We know three people have been arrested. More than eight people were injured,” a member of the Bago University Students’ Union told Myanmar Now.
The deceased was identified as 20-year-old Htet Naing Shein, who was in Bago from Magwe for business. One of the injured was shot in the arm, but the condition of the others is unknown. It is believed that there were also a number of other arrests made during the day.
Protesters were gathered at the intersection of Ponnasu and 10th streets when soldiers and police, who had blocked the area on all sides, moved in to stop the demonstration.
The crackdown ended by 3pm, at which point the roads were reopened, said a protester who escaped arrest.
Security forces have killed at least 130 people nationwide since the start of protests against the military’s overthrow of the country’s elected government on February 1.
According to estimates by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the coup regime has also imprisoned more than 2,100 people since seizing power.