Random Brutality by Myanmar Security Forces in Mandalay Pushes Death Toll to 260

By The Irrawaddy 23 March 2021

After three more people — including a 7-year-old girl — were shot dead in Mandalay, the country’s protest-related death toll since the military’s Feb. 1coup reached 260 on Tuesday.

Since March 21, the military regimes’ security forces have been conducting a series of raids in several wards in Chanmyathazi Township including Aung Pin Lae, Aung Tharyar and Mya Yi Nandar. removing roadblocks erected by residents as barriers and shooting at crowds opposing the raids.

During the raids in Myanmar’s second-biggest city, riot police and soldiers used live rounds, rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

Mandalay’s residents told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that police and soldiers have been opening gunfire on bystanders and pedestrians they see on the streets and roads.

A 7-year-old girl named Ma Khin Myo Chit, was shot dead by the soldiers during a house raid at Aung Pin Lae in Chanmyathazi Township on Tuesday afternoon. The frightened girl was slain while being hugged by her father.

A 19-year-old man, the girl’s brother, was reportedly beaten and taken away by security forces.

A 25-year-old man was fatally shot in the head by security forces and other three people were wounded during a raid against Aung Pin Lae ward in the evening.

Amid no protests in the street, Ko Chan Thar Htwe, 21, was also killed with a headshot by security forces at Aungtharyar ward in Chanmyathazi Township on Tuesday morning while he was in front of his house.

Ko Than Naing Htun, brother of the victim, told The Irrawaddy that his younger brother was deliberately killed by the security forces as he was attempting to get inside the house.

“There is no word to describe the brutal behavior of them (police and soldiers). We can be only peaceful without them in our country,” said Ko Than Naing Htun.

He also added, “We want only the government that we elected. We don’t want this kind of government which seized power by force.”

On Monday, the military’s security forces opened fire in the wards of Mandalay’s Chanmyathazi Township throughout the whole day.

During the raids, police and soldiers set on fire the roadblocks that had been erected by residents to prevent access to their neighborhood. Security forces also destroyed several vehicles belonging to local residents and damaged houses.

About seven people were shot dead and more than 50 were wounded in the raids on Monday.

On Sunday night, eight people were killed and more than 30 were injured when the police and soldiers opened fire with automatic weapons during raids in Aung Pin Lae and another location in Chanmyathazi Township.

The shootings followed a deadly confrontation between security forces and anti-regime protesters which left one protester dead and several injured earlier on Sunday afternoon.

A charity group assisting wounded protesters and providing funeral services to for the dead told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the body of 16-year-old teashop waiter who was killed on Sunday night, had been taken away by the force Monday afternoon when security forces interrupted the funeral ceremony.

“They (police and soldiers) seem abnormal. They are shooting everyone they see on the roads,” said an official of a charity group in the city.

He said that the death toll in the city might be higher than the reported numbers as many injured people are hiding due to the fear of arrest.

Amid the deadly crackdowns, tens of thousands of people across Myanmar continue to take to the streets day and night in defiance of the military regime.

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