At least 1 dead, several injured in Myanmar after live rounds used to disperse protest, say medical staff

MANDALAY: A raid on a shipyard in Myanmar’s second-largest city of Mandalay turned violent on Saturday (Feb 20) when police and soldiers fired live rounds and rubber bullets at protesters.

One man died of a head wound, according to a Mandalay emergency service and media workers including Lin Khaing, an assistant editor with the Voice of Myanmar media outlet in the city.

Myanmar protest Feb 20 6

A wounded man is carried by a medical team after security forces opened fire on protesters during a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay on Feb 20, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

At least five people were injured by rubber bullets, a photographer at the scene reported, while emergency medical staff treating the injured confirmed at least six others were shot with live rounds.

“Six men with gunshot wounds arrived to our team. Two are seriously injured,” a medical aide to the doctors told AFP.

The use of live rounds was confirmed by a doctor at the scene.

A protester receives treatment after being injured during the clashes

A protester receives treatment after being injured during the clashes in Myanmar. (Photo: AFP/STR)

According to the media and an ambulance service, police and striking shipyard workers faced off for hours and security forces fired guns to break up the crowd.

Much of the country has been in uproar since the military deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup on Feb 1, with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets to protest against the junta.

Myanmar Protest Feb 20 4

Protesters hold images of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Feb 20, 2021. (Photo: AFP/YE AUNG THU)

Authorities have arrested hundreds of people since the putsch, many of them civil servants who had been boycotting work as part of a civil disobedience campaign.

READ: Rallies mourn anti-coup protester’s death as US urges Myanmar junta to yield power

On Saturday, hundreds of police gathered at Yadanarbon shipyard in Mandalay, on the Irrawaddy river.

Their presence sparked fears among nearby residents that authorities would try to arrest workers for taking part in the anti-coup movement.

Banging pots and pans in what has become a signature gesture of defiance, protesters started yelling at the police to leave.

Myanmar protest Feb 20 7

A police officer aims a gun towards protesters during a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay on Feb 20, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

But police opened fire with rubber bullets and slingshot balls, dispersing the alarmed protesters and leaving at least five injured.

One woman received a head wound and emergency workers quickly administered first aid to her.

“Shooting is still ongoing. Some people are injured,” the city’s rescue service chairman told AFP.

Police throw projectiles towards protesters during the Mandalay disturbance

Police throw projectiles towards protesters during the Mandalay disturbance. (Photo: AFP/STR)

A Facebook video streamed live by a resident on the scene appeared to carry non-stop sounds of gunshots.

“They are shooting cruelly,” said the resident, who appeared to be taking shelter on a nearby construction site.

“We have to find a safer place.”

An AFP reporter on the ground heard multiple gunshots.

READ: Diverse Myanmar protesters united in opposition to coup

Since the nationwide protests started two weeks ago, authorities in some cities have deployed tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against demonstrators.

There have been isolated incidents of live rounds in the capital Naypyidaw.

An anti-coup protester who was shot in the head during a Feb 9 demonstration in Naypyidaw died on Friday.

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