Conflicts & War

Six policemen killed in Myanmar police station attack

Bangkok, Apr 3 (efe-epa).- Six policemen were killed Saturday in an attack on a police station in the Sagaing region, central Myanmar, according to local press, as protests against the military junta — whose brutal crackdown since the Feb. 1 coup has lead to the death of at least 550 — continue.

According to online news portal Myanmar Now, a 25-year-old policeman who deserted and joined the protest movement led the attack Thursday with three hand grenades that killed five policemen from the Tamu police station.

The sixth person killed was the rebel police officer, who was shot by security forces, witnesses told Myanmar Now.

Despite the crackdown, protests continued Saturday in different parts of the country.

According to Khit Thit Media, another three people were killed Saturday by police shooting in the town of Monywa, also in the central region, and one more was killed in Tahtone, in the south, by shots from the security forces during the protests.

At least 2,751 have been arrested according to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners of Myanmar, including five people arrested in Yangon, the most populous city, after answering questions from journalist Clarissa Ward for American television channel CNN, according to Myanmar Now.

Ward’s arrival Tuesday, supposedly invited by the junta, has caused controversy in a country where military repression makes the work of journalists extremely difficult, who have to work clandestinely, exposed to arrest or violence from security forces.

Many of the photos and videos documenting the brutality of the authorities have been taken by non-professional civilians, who then share them on social media, although this has become more difficult due to enforced internet blockages.

On Thursday, authorities indefinitely suspended the Wi-Fi service offered by internet providers in some public places, adding to the nightly network outage for 46 nights and the mobile signal for 17 days.

The internet shutdown and use of weapons such as grenade launchers, machine guns and other war weapons led United Nations Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Tom Andrews to reiterate Saturday a call for sanctions and an arms embargo to cut the junta’s income.

“This madness must end,” he said.

The United Nations Security Council condemned Thursday the violence against “peaceful protesters” and the death of civilians, including children, in its third statement on the Myanmar crisis.

The military, who already held power between 1962 and 2011, justify the coup on alleged electoral fraud during November’s general elections, in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory. international observers considered the polls legitimate. EFE-EPA


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