Yangon – Myanmar’s military regime has intensified its crackdown against anti-coup demonstrators in Mandalay as protests in the city gain momentum.
During the recent crackdowns, more than 100 protesters were injured, including 10 who were seriously hurt, according to the Kanaung Institute, a Mandalay-based NGO working to promote democracy and public participation in governance.
At 9pm on Tuesday, troops in six trucks reportedly attacked residents banging pots and pans in Chanmyathazi Township.
A video shows troops targeting people’s homes with slingshots.
On Monday, the security forces at the corner of 26 and 82 streets used batons, slingshots and air guns against protesters. Observers say the air guns, which fire lead pellets, are more dangerous than rubber bullets.
“The military is not using live bullets but they are still using deadly weapons,” Than Myat Soe, chief executive officer of the Kanaung Institute, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.
The police have also been accused of targeting people on their balconies using slingshots and air guns. Several journalists covering the protests have been injured with slingshots or beaten.
After being released, Ma Yonn Nadi Tun, 16, told The Irrawaddy that she was hit on her head with a slingshot and beaten when she hid from the security forces.
She said she was only watching the anti-coup demonstration and did not participate.
“I am scared. I am very angry at being violently arrested,” she said.
Mandalay-based video journalist Ko Kyaw Zay Win said he was beaten on his head and kicked by police while being arrested. He was released after showing a media identity card to police and military commanders.
On Feb. 9, hundreds of anti-coup demonstrators in Mandalay were fired on with rubber bullets and tear gas by the security forces.
Ko San Yu Kyaw, a Mandalay-based journalist, said the regime seemed to be using more force in Mandalay than elsewhere.
“We see journalists are also being targeted and attacked. It is impudent,” he said.
He said a disabled boy was beaten by the police.
Crackdowns have also been launched against anti-coup demonstrators in Naypyitaw and Mawlamyine. Hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets across the country daily to protest against military rule.
Citizens clap, honk car horns and bang pots and pans at 8pm every night in defiance against the regime.
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