Myanmar coup: Deadliest day of protests as police open fire


Police have fired on protesters in Myanmar killing at least 10, medics say, on the deadliest day since rallies against the country's coup began.

Deaths were reported in Yangon, Dawei and Mandalay, as police used live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas.

Security forces began the violent crackdown on Saturday, after weeks of largely peaceful protests against the 1 February military takeover.

Government leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, were overthrown and detained.

Social media footage from Sunday showed protesters running away as police charged at them, makeshift roadblocks being erected, and several people being led away covered in blood.

The police crackdown was expanded on Sunday as coup leaders sought to quash a civil disobedience campaign that has shown no sign of ending.

The people did not retreat

At the scene: BBC video journalist

As I arrived on Hledan road in Yangon an ambulance passed me. I heard one man had been shot. I ran to the location and when I arrived the volunteers had already lifted him into the ambulance.

I saw blood on the road and a homemade shield next to it. The bullet had passed through the shield.

A few minutes later, more protesters occupied the road, blocking the area with shields and carts and readying themselves to take on the police.

Many more arrived, sitting down on the road and chanting. There were so many I couldn't see the back of the crowd.

Two people were shot dead here and one was badly injured. But the people did not retreat.

What is happening on the ground?

Activists, doctors and medical workers told the BBC that at least 10 people had been killed on Sunday.

The figures in unverified social media reports were much higher, in some cases more than 20.

Dozens more are said to have been injured.

At least four people were killed in the largest city, Yangon, as police fired bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

The protesters remained defiant. "If they push us, we'll rise. If they attack us, we'll defend. We'll never kneel down to the military boots," Nyan Win Shein told Reuters.

Another protester, Amy Kyaw, told AFP: "Police started shooting just as we arrived. They didn't say a word of warning. Some got injured and some teachers are still hiding in neighbours' houses."

Some demonstrators were herded away in police vans.

In the south-eastern city of Dawei, security forces moved to break up a rally.

There are reports of live rounds being used. Four people were killed in the city, activists told the BBC.