Myanmar police and armed security forces broke up morning demonstrations with tear gas and rubber bullets across the country on Friday, as protests against last month’s coup showed no signs of abating.
Protesters arranged street barricades to hinder police, but authorities still managed to break up protests and detain multiple people.
The new clashes came against the backdrop of funerals for protesters killed on Wednesday, the bloodiest day of protests in the wake of the Feb. 1 coup.
“We tried as much as we could to prevent them. We arranged the barricades in our main street for protesting,” said Lwin Ko Aung, 27, who lives in Sanchaung township.
Myo Myo, 34, another Sanchaung township resident, said: “Our protest was destroyed by them this morning and we ran, but we will do it again soon.
“They want to break up the demonstrations very early and they did because they don’t want all the strikes collectively to come together.”
According to news reports, police broke up protests in Yangon, Mandalay, Monywa, Myingyan and Pathein.
There was a report of one new death, in Mandalay.
“The police broke up the demonstration an hour ago but people ran after it and this man was shot to his neck,” said one witness.
A precise death toll is unavailable, but the UN says at least 54 have died.
Additionally, more than 1,700 have been detained. The clashes have been condemned internationally.
UN human rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, demanded on Thursday that security forces halt what she called their “vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters.” (dpa/NAN)