Mandalay: two protesters killed by military junta

According to witnesses, army soldiers were dressed in plain clothes and opened fire without warning. Yesterday's was the third demonstration in Mandalay this month. Increasing cases of Covid-19. The health situation is complicated by recent floods. Doctors who treat patients independently arrested.



Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Yesterday Myanmar's military junta killed at least two people during the repression of an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay.

Witnesses who managed to escape say about 20 people had gathered near the east gate of the famous Mahamuni temple when suddenly plainclothes officers shot three people. A 25-year-old girl died on the spot, the death of a man was confirmed later, while the third was reportedly wounded and later arrested. 

"“The girl [Thu Thu Zin] fell down right before my eyes. I couldn’t save her, as I was running for my life, too,” said one witness. The protesters were members of the Mya Taung group, which continues to organize peaceful demonstrations against the army despite facing armed repression.

According to some members of the organization, the violence of the Tatmadaw (the Burmese army) will not have any impact on their activities: "“We’re going to keep going until the end," they said.

This month in Mandalay two more demonstrations were held and at least 8 people were arrested. According to residents, the army has positioned plainclothes soldiers in public places such as schools, hospitals and pagodas to carry out surprise attacks and discourage opposition.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage, as monsoons have hit Southeast Asia. In recent days, heavy rains have caused flooding in several areas, forcing health care workers to move patients to dry locations through flooded roads. Images released by the Karen Information Center show doctors and nurses carrying people still attached to oxygen tanks on hospital beds. 

"These floods swamping large areas of eastern Myanmar are the worst in some places for many years and they are causing further misery for people already suffering as COVID-19 surges across the country," said Joy Singhal, Head of Myanmar Delegation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Over the past week, more than 5,000 new cases per day have been recorded, but health workers say the actual number of infections is much higher. Unable to maintain control over the country since the February 1 coup, the military has arrested anti-coup doctors who independently treat Covid-19 patients.