Myanmar coup: Deadliest day of protests as police open fire
Police have fired on protesters in Myanmar killing at least 18, the UN human rights office says, on the deadliest day of anti-coup rallies.
Deaths were reported in several cities including Yangon, Dawei and Mandalay as police used live rounds and tear gas.
Security forces began the violent crackdown on Saturday, after weeks of largely peaceful protests against the 1 February military takeover.
Government leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, were overthrown and detained.
Social media footage from Sunday showed protesters running away as police charged at them, makeshift roadblocks being erected, and several people being led away covered in blood.
The police crackdown was expanded on Sunday as coup leaders sought to quash a civil disobedience campaign that has shown no sign of ending.
As I arrived on Hledan road in Yangon an ambulance passed me. I heard one man had been shot. I ran to the location and when I arrived the volunteers had already lifted him into the ambulance.
I saw blood on the road and a homemade shield next to it. The bullet had passed through the shield.
A few minutes later, more protesters occupied the road, blocking the area with shields and carts and readying themselves to take on the police.
Many more arrived, sitting down on the road and chanting. There were so many I couldn’t see the back of the crowd.
Two people were shot dead here and one was badly injured. But the people did not retreat.
The United Nations Human Rights Office condemned the violence against protesters, saying it had “credible information” that at least 18 people had been killed on Sunday. More than 30 others have been injured.
“The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy,” spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said. “Use of lethal force against non-violent demonstrators is never justifiable under international human rights norms.”