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Five killed in Myanmar as troops open fire on protesters

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Burmese troops fired at anti-coup protesters on Wednesday, killing at least five people and injuring several as activists defied a bloody crackdown and internet blockade by the ruling junta, media reported.

More than 580 people have been killed in the unrest in Myanmar since the February 1 coup that ended a brief period of civilian-led democracy, according to an activist group.

Nationwide protests and strikes have persisted since then, despite the use of lethal force by the ruling military to quell the opposition.

Security forces opened fire on protesters in the northwestern town of Kale as they demanded the restoration of the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, a resident told Reuters.

The media quoted witnesses as saying there had been casualties and repeated gunfire.

News organizations Mizzima and Irrawaddy said five people were killed and several injured.

The Kale resident said the information was provided to him by witnesses, who took photos of five bodies.

Reuters could not independently verify the toll.

The ability of the predominantly youth-led anti-coup movement to campaign and share information through social media and instant messaging has been seriously hampered by restrictions on broadband wireless internet. and mobile data services.

Fixed line services, which few people in Myanmar have access to, are available.

“Myanmar has been subject to a gradual collapse into the information abyss since February,” Alp Toker, founder of internet blocking observatory NetBlocks, told Reuters.

“Communications are now very limited and only accessible to a few.”

With the print media also disrupted, protesters have sought workarounds to get their point across, producing their own daily A4-sized information brochures that are digitally shared and printed for distribution to the public.

On Tuesday, Dr Sasa, who heads a parallel government from the remnants of Suu Kyi’s administration, said in a statement that his legal adviser would submit evidence of military atrocities to various UN human rights bodies. .

Sasa, a doctor who uses a name, said lawyers for his Committee representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), had received 180,000 pieces of evidence and would meet with representatives of an independent investigative mechanism for Myanmar on Wednesday.

According to the advocacy group of the Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 581 people, including dozens of children, have been shot dead by soldiers and police in almost daily unrest since the coup, and Security forces arrested nearly 3,500 people, with 2,750 still detained.

Arrest warrants have been issued for hundreds of people, with the junta this week targeting dozens of influencers, artists, artists and musicians.

The country’s most famous comedian Zarganar was arrested on Tuesday, media reported.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab discussed how Britain and the international community could support a Southeast Asian effort to resolve the Myanmar crisis, Indonesian Foreign Minister said. Foreign Retno Marsudi, after meeting his British counterpart in Jakarta.

Indonesia was among several Southeast Asian countries campaigning for high-level negotiations on Myanmar.

Western countries including the United States, Britain and Australia have imposed or stepped up sanctions against the generals and the massive military network of trade monopolies in response to the coup, detentions and l use of lethal force against demonstrators.

The European Union should follow suit.

Russia, which has shown support for Myanmar’s ruling military council, said on Tuesday the West risked starting a civil war in the country by imposing sanctions on the junta.

Fitch Solutions said in a report released Wednesday that targeted Western sanctions alone are unlikely to succeed in restoring democracy.

He predicts in the medium term a violent revolution between the military on the one hand and an armed opposition made up of members of the anti-coup movement and ethical militias.

Some ethnic minority forces, which control large swathes of border areas, have said they cannot stand idly by as the junta kills people and already engages the army in skirmishes.

Fitch said Myanmar will become a failed state.

“The escalation of violence against civilians and ethnic militias shows that the Tatmadaw (military) are increasingly losing control of the country,” he said, adding that the vast majority of people supported the parallel government. . (Reuters / NAN)

(NAN)

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