38 killed on ‘bloodiest day’, says UN envoy
- “It’s horrific, it’s a massacre. No words can describe the situation and our feelings,” youth activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi told Reuters via a messaging app.
The United Nations envoy to Myanmar called Wednesday the “bloodiest day” since the Southeast Asian country’s military coup last month, with 38 people reported dead. “We have now more than over 50 people died since the coup started and many are wounded,” Christine Schraner Burgener told reporters.
Earlier in the day, a human rights group said security forces opened fire on protests and killed at least 18 people on Wednesday, a day after neighbouring countries called for restraint and offered to help Myanmar resolve the crisis.
The security forces resorted to live firing with little warning in several towns and cities, witnesses said, as the junta appeared more determined than ever to stamp out protests against the February 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
“It’s horrific, it’s a massacre. No words can describe the situation and our feelings,” youth activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi told Reuters via a messaging app.
A spokesman for the ruling military council did not answer telephone calls seeking comment. Ko Bo Kyi, joint secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners rights group, said in a post on Twitter, “As of now, so called military killed at least 18.”
In Yangon, witnesses said at least eight people were killed, one early in the day and seven others when forces opened sustained fire with automatic weapons in a neighbourhood in the north of the city in the evening.
“I heard so much continuous firing. I lay down on the ground, they shot a lot,” protester Kaung Pyae Sone Tun, 23, told Reuters. A protest leader in the community, Htut Paing, said the hospital there had told him seven people had been killed. Hospital administrators were not immediately available for comment.
Another heavy toll was in the central town of Monywa, where six people were killed, Monywa Gazette reported. Others were killed in various places including the second-biggest city Mandalay, the northern town of Hpakant and the central town of Myingyan. At least 40 people have been killed since the coup.
Ousted president faces two fresh charges
Ousted President Win Myint is facing two new charges, his lawyer said on Wednesday, including a breach of the constitution that is punishable by up to three years in jail. Myint was arrested along with Suu Kyi. Myint was already facing charges of violating protocols to stop the spread of the coronavirus.