Yangon, Myanmar, March 3 (efe-epa).- At least three people, including a minor, were shot dead in Myanmar on Wednesday as fresh crackdowns were launched by authorities against protesters.
Despite security forces’ severe repression of demonstrations, which on Sunday alone claimed the lives of at least 20 people, protests in rejection of the Feb. 1 military coup continued Wednesday throughout the country.
In Myingyan in Mandalay Region, a teenage boy was shot dead, and another two people died after being shot in Mandalay city, rescuers told Efe.
In Monywa, about 130 kilometers west of Mandalay city, a student who witnessed a crackdown there said at least six people were shot.
The toll was expected to rise.
In the most populated city of Yangon, the authorities repressed protests with tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades, dispersing protesters who returned to their demonstrations each time the situation calmed.
The protesters demand that the military, which ruled the country with an iron fist between 1962 and 2011, restore democracy, recognize the results of the November election and release all those detained.
Since the military coup, at least 1,294 people have been arrested, including deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to the latest data from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners in Myanmar, which indicated that 306 have been released. It added that 34 journalists were arrested, with 15 of them released.
The foreign ministers of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore on Tuesday condemned the use of lethal force by the Myanmar authorities to quell the peaceful opposition movement that emerged after the coup.
The foreign ministers, meeting by video conference during an informal session of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), called on the military junta “to refrain from instigating further violence” and to seek a peaceful solution through dialog.
The military has justified taking power on grounds of alleged electoral fraud in the November elections, in which international observers did not detect any wrongdoing and which resulted in a landslide victory for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. EFE-EPA