Two Civilians Killed by Myanmar Security Forces in Mandalay

By The Irrawaddy 20 February 2021

YANGON — At least two civilians, including a young man, have been shot dead on Saturday in Mandalay when riot police opened fire with live and rubber bullets on residents protecting striking government shipyard workers who had joined the civil disobedience movement against the military regime.

The victims were hit in their abdomen and head, according to witnesses, while at least two dozen people have been wounded. Some are in critical condition.

The police crackdown on Saturday has become the second and third protest fatalities since the military took control in a coup on Feb. 1 after the death of a 20-year-old woman who was shot in the head nearly two weeks ago in Naypyitaw.

Tensions between security forces and residents of Maha Aung Myay Township rose this morning when the police tried to raid the shipyard to force staff back to work. Residents protested and tried to repel the security forces.

Many civil servants have been on strike to oppose the junta with nationwide protests seeing hundreds of thousands taking to the streets since Feb. 6.

Residents said nearly 100 riot police and soldiers were deployed in more than a dozen police trucks on Strand Road on Saturday before the crackdown. According to some media pictures, military snipers were also deployed.

“They suddenly started to beat people and arrest them. They also destroyed motorcycles. When people tried to respond, they opened fire,” said a resident.

Live-streaming videos by residents show the security forces charging down the road, firing directly at people. They also show a young man with a head injury being rushed to an ambulance by protesters.

Myanmar’s second-largest city has seen severe crackdowns on protesters since last week with more than 100 people injured, including a pregnant woman. The deaths on Saturday are its first protest-related fatalities.

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