20-year-old protester shot in head in Myanmar dies in hospital

People take to the streets in Yangon Myanmar on Feb. 19 2021 to protest against the Feb. 1 military coup. ==Kyodo

At least two people were killed when riot police opened fire on anti-coup protesters Mandalay on Saturday, according to local media reports.

Myanmar's military toppled civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb 1, leading to protests for the restoration of democracy despite the junta's efforts to hinder communications.

The incident occurred after a raid on a shipyard in Myanmar's second-largest city, where police and soldiers fired live rounds and rubber bullets at protesters gathering to stop arrests.

Some of the demonstrators fired catapults at police as they played cat and mouse through riverside streets.

The death of the young anti-coup protester has sent a ripple of grief through the country, days after a bullet struck her in the head during a confrontation with police.

A volunteer doctor confirmed there had been two deaths: "One shot in the head died at the spot".

Police were not available for comment.

As well as the protests, a civil disobedience campaign has paralysed much of government business and global pressure is building on the military. Opponents of the coup are sceptical of the army's promise to hold a new election and hand power to the victor.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who turned 20 while unconscious in a hospital bed, was confirmed dead Friday from a gunshot to the head.

The army says one policeman died of injuries sustained in a protest.

Also Saturday, ethnic minority groups sought the Japanese government's help in securing the freedom of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other detainees. Demonstrators are sceptical of the army's promise to hold a new election and hand power to the victor.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing died on Friday while in intensive care at a hospital in the capital Naypyitaw, where she had been on life support for 10 days since she was shot by police cracking down on demonstrators.

The woman was in critical condition after the shooting, which took place on February 9 in the capital Naypyitaw.

They held spontaneous vigils for Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing on the streets, lighting candles and laying roses by a banner with her picture.

The protests have been more peaceful than the bloodily suppressed demonstrations during almost 50 years of direct military rule up to 2011.

The army seized back power after alleging fraud in November 8 elections that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy swept, detaining her and others. The electoral commission had dismissed the allegations of fraud.

"We reiterate our calls on the Burmese military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters", spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

Police used force for a second straight day on Friday to arrest protesters in Myitkyina, the capital of the remote northern state of Kachin.

The U.S., British and Canadian governments have imposed sanctions on the new military leaders, and they and other nations have called for Ms. Suu Kyi's administration to be restored.

Many countries have urged authorities to avoid violence.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing was already under sanctions from Western countries following the 2017 crackdown on the Rohingya. There is little history of Myanmar's generals, with closer ties to China and to Russian Federation, giving in to Western pressure.

Suu Kyi faces a charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law as well as charges of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios. Her next court appearance is on March 1.



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