Police cracked down on demonstrators opposing Myanmar’s military takeover, firing warning shots and shooting water cannons to disperse crowds that took to the streets again on Tuesday in defiance of rules making protests illegal.
Water cannons were used in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-biggest city, where witnesses said at least two warning shots were fired to try to break up the crowd. Reports on social media said police arrested more than two dozen people there. They also used water cannons in the capital, Natpyitaw, for a second day and fired shots into the air.
Police were widely reported to have also shot rubber bullets at the crowd in Naypyitaw, wounding several people. Photos on social media showed an alleged shooter — an officer with a short-barreled gun — and several injured people. Unconfirmed rumors circulated widely of shootings with live rounds and deaths among the protesters, with the potential of sparking violent retaliation against the authorities, an outcome proponents of the country’s civil disobedience movement have warned against.
The protesters are demanding that power be restored to the deposed civilian government and are seeking freedom for the nation’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other ruling party members detained since the military took over and blocked the new session of Parliament from convening on Feb. 1. SOVEREIGNPH