Despite condemnation by the international community, Myanmar’s military regime has intensified its violent suppression of anti-regime protests.
And while the death toll has now topped 700, hundreds more have been seriously wounded. Regime forces have used live rounds, torture, hand grenades and other explosive ammunition, and automatic weapons during the crackdown.
The wounded include bystanders as well as protesters. Random gunfire into residential neighborhoods has hit innocents who thought they would be safe in their own homes.
The Irrawaddy has collected some brief profiles among the hundreds of those who have been seriously injured during the crackdowns, raids and random gunfire on the part of the regimes’ forces.
Ko Min Thura, 23
March 3, Yangon
Ko Min Thura, who had been working for his parents, was seriously wounded in the eyes by rubber bullets on March 3 when the junta’ forces conducted a crackdown on anti-regime protests in Yangon’s North Oakkalapa Township. At least eight protesters were killed and several were wounded. Ko Min Thura lost two close friends killed by the junta’s forces during the crackdown.
He was shot at his face with rubber bullets when he tried to carry the body of one of his friends out of the line of fire.
He has lost sight in his left eye totally. It is still uncertain whether he will lose sight in his right eye. His right cheek and ear are paralyzed, and he can open his mouth only slightly.
“I have no regret for my losses. But I want at least one of my eyes back as I still have good legs and arms, and I want to try more for my country” Ko Min Thura told The Irrawaddy.
Saw Thet Nyi, 16
March 14, Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar Township
Saw Thet Nyi, has a chance to survive, although he has lost one of his kidneys and his gallbladder after being shot in his abdomen by the regime’s forces with a live round in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar Township on March 14.
He was shot while he was part of a defense team wielding homemade shields and protecting anti-regime protesters.
During the shooting that day, the junta’s forces gunned down more than 50 people, wounding several dozen.
Due to the serious nature of his injuries, his gallbladder and a kidney have been removed. Currently, the boy can’t walk well. His spinal column was also injured. He is still in hiding due to the fear of arrest, a family member told The Irrawaddy.
Aung Khant Soe, 19
March 14, Yangon’s Thingangyun Township
Aung Khant Soe, a defense team member from the frontlines, was shot in his thigh while trying to protect anti-regime protesters from the gunfire of security forces in Yangon’s Thingangyun Township on the evening on March 14.
The live round that hit his thigh had penetrated his homemade shield during an attack by the junta’s forces in which at least eight people were shot dead.
Luckily, Aung Khant Soe was sent to hospital in time and the live bullet didn’t hit the thigh bone. Now he is recovering from his wound.
“I was not afraid of gunfire at that time,” Aung Khant Soe, a grade 11 student, told The Irrawaddy.
He added that he took to the streets because he couldn’t accept the injustice.
Ko Phyoe, 24
March 10, Yangon’s South Dagon
Ko Phyoe, father of a two-year-old son, lost his left leg after being shot by the Myanmar military regime’s forces during a deadly crackdown against a peaceful anti-regime protest in Yangon’s South Dagon Township on March 10.
He was a defense team member and was shot in his left leg while retreating from regime forces.
Even though he had received proper medical treatment, it was necessary to amputate his leg from the knee down.
“I just lost my leg. It is nothing. But I am sorry that our younger sisters and brothers sacrificed their lives in the protest,” Ko Phyoe told The Irrawaddy.
He said that he will be there to fight for the country’s future when he has recovered from his injuries.
Ko Pau Min Lun, 20
March 17, Sagaing Region’s Kale
Pau Min Lun, the youngest of five siblings of a Chin ethnic family, received serious injures to his left leg in an explosion believed to be caused by a military regime hand grenade during a crackdown in Kale, Sagaing Region on March 17.
During the crackdown, at least four anti-regime protesters were reportedly killed and several others were wounded.
After being hit by an explosion, Pau Min Tun, a member of defense team for the protesters, was taken away by the regime’s forces along with the bodies of two dead protesters, a close friend told The Irrawaddy.
Later, he was treated at a military hospital.
On March 19, he had to allow the hospital to amputate his left leg from the thigh because of his injuries.
He is still under detention at the hospital and he will also have to face charges by Myanmar’s military when he recovers from his injures, his close friend said.
Ko Shan Phyo Aung, 22
March 27, Magway
Ko Shan Phyo Aung, a third-year technology student, lost his right hand when he was brutally tortured by the junta’s forces during a crackdown against an anti-regime demonstration in Magway on March 27.
During the crackdown, the defense team member was caught by the junta’s forces after he was wounded in the right palm by an explosive device fired by security forces, according to a news report by Myanmar Now.
In addition, his injured right hand was blown off when it was shot again and his left hand was shot with rubber bullets at close range by the junta’s troops while he kneeling in front of the troops with his hands up.
He lost teeth when he was severely kicked in his face by the regime’s forces. His right eye was also injured by gunpowder fired by the troops. Both legs also were injured seriously after being shot with rubber bullets at close range while he was under arrest.
At the risk of their own lives, about 15 anti-regime protesters saved the life of Shan Phyo Aung by covering him with their own bodies and pleading with the troops to stop torturing him.
During the crackdown, 37 people, including Ko Shan Phyo Aung and several of those who had protected him, were arrested.
Ko Shan Phyo Aung, who wants to be engineer, also has been charged by the military regime with committing a riot.
Ma Thin Thawtar, one-year-old girl
March 27, Yangon’s Mayangone Township
A one-year-old girl, Ma Thin Thawtar, was among the victims during one of the country’s bloodiest days, when more than 110 people including 12 children under the age of 16 were killed by the military regime marking its annual Armed Forces Day on March 27.
The child was shot with a rubber bullet in her right eye while she was in their mother’s arms at their home. Police and soldiers opened fire indiscriminately during their raid on a residential neighborhood at the Mayangone Township of Yangon Region.
She has lost the sight of her right eye.
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