YANGON: Myanmar security forces shot dead nine opponents of a Feb. 1 coup on Friday, a funeral services provider and media said, as Indonesia urged an end to the violence and the restoration of democracy, in an unusually blunt call from a neighbor, reports Reuters.
Military and police have used increasingly violent tactics to suppress demonstrations by supporters of detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but that has not put off the protesters, with crowds turning out again in several towns. Security forces opened fire in a confrontation in the central town of Aungban as they tried to clear a protesters’ barricade, media and a witness reported.“Security forces came to remove barriers but the people resisted and they fired shots,” the witness, who declined to be identified, said by telephone. An official with Aungban’s funerary service, who declined to be identified, told Reuters eight people were killed, seven on the spot and one wounded person who died after being taken to hospital in the nearby town of Kalaw.
The spokesman for the junta was not immediately available for comment but has previously said security forces have used force only when necessary. Critics have derided that explanation.
One protester was killed in the northeastern town of Loikaw, the Myanmar Now news portal said, and there was some shooting in the main city of Yangon, but no word on casualties.
Demonstrators were also out in the second city of Mandalay, the central towns of Myingyan and Katha, and Myawaddy in the east, witnesses and media reported.
The total number killed in weeks of unrest has risen to at least 233, according to the latest report and a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group.