(Update: adds killing of 2 protesters)
Yangon, Myanmar, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- At least two people were shot dead on Saturday by police in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second city, during a protest against the military junta that seized power in a coup d’état on February 1.
Three people have now died at the hands of authorities in the civil unrest that has swept the country’s major cities since the military takeover.
According to witnesses, the first victim was hit in the head. He was a young man who came to support shipyard workers who are on strike to join the protest movement and whom the authorities wanted to force to return to work.
Both his death and that of the second deceased were confirmed by medical services, according to witnesses who told Efe that at least five other people were injured in the incidents.
Witnesses said the police suppressed the protest using live ammunition and rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and also launched metal projectiles made of bolts with slingshots.
“It’s like a war zone,” the witnesses said.
Saturday’s protests were held amid the nationwide shock over the death of Mya Thwe Thwe Khine, a 20-year-old participant in the civil disobedience movement who was killed by a live round from the police, according to reports from various human rights groups.
Protesters on Saturday paid tribute to the victim with flowers in various parts of Yangon and painted a message on one of the main streets calling for democracy and the release of political leaders to challenge the military’s takeover.
The image of the young woman, who died Friday after being in critical condition for 10 days, has become a symbol of the civil disobedience movement.