Yangon, Myanmar, March 13 (efe-epa).- At least three people were killed as Myanmar security forces cracked down on an anti-junta protest in Mandalay on Saturday, local media reported, after two were killed overnight in Yangon.
At least 15 were also wounded in the second city of Mandalay, including monks, as first responders were unable to rescue all the injured at the scene, Myanmar Now reported.
“We are losing more lives today. Senseless, heartless attacks by the military attempting to diminish the power of the people. The world is witnessing an illegitimate #junta government attack their own citizens. Intl action must happen,” the Network for Human Rights Documentation in Burma tweeted Saturday.
The deaths come after police opened fire overnight Friday on a crowd that had gathered outside a police station in Tharketa district of Yangon to demand the release of three youths, according to DVB News.
Candlelight vigil protests were also held overnight around the country to honor those who have been killed during the so-called “Spring Revolution” in wake of the coup.
More than 70 people have been killed “due to violent and arbitrary crackdowns,” according to the country’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
The civil disobedience movement against the military junta that perpetrated the Feb. 1 coup called for widespread protests Saturday in the main cities of the country.
The deaths overnight did not prevent demonstrators returning to the streets in the country’s most populated city of Yangon Saturday, holding up the three-finger salute as well as placards as makeshift barricades blocked roads.
The new day of protests also mark the anniversary of the death of a student in 1988 at the hands of the military, which sparked a wave of demonstrations crushed by the military, which left more than 3,000 dead.
More than 2,045 have been arrested since the coup, including at least 40 journalists, the AAPP has reported.
On Saturday, the German embassy in Yangon appealed for news of Polish photojournalist Robert Bociaga, who was witnessed being beaten and detained in Taunggyi, Shan state, while covering a protest on Thursday.
The embassy, which represents Polish citizens in Myanmar and works with the Polish embassy in Bangkok, “requested the Myanmar side to inform about the exact whereabouts of the detained Polish citizen, to grant immediate consular access to him, and to give written information about the reason for his detention and charges delivered,” it said, demanding “a swift answer and a fair and humane treatment.”
The military has justified taking power on grounds of alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which international observers did not detect any wrongdoing and which resulted in a landslide victory for leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. EFE-EPA