News ID: 291421
Published: 0344 GMT March 07, 2021

Protests erupt across Myanmar; Suu Kyi party official dies in custody

Protests erupt across Myanmar; Suu Kyi party official dies in custody
REUTERS

An official from the party of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi died overnight in police custody, associates said Sunday, while security forces cracked down on demonstrators staging some of the most widespread protests against last month’s coup.

The cause of Khin Maung Latt’s death was not known, but Reuters saw a photograph of his body with a bloodstained cloth around the head. Sithu Maung, a member of the dissolved Parliament, said in a Facebook post that Khin Maung Latt was his campaign manager and was arrested on Saturday night in the Pabedan district of Yangon.

Police fired stun grenades and tear gas to break up a sit-in protest by tens of thousands of people in Mandalay, the Myanmar Now media group said. At least 70 people were arrested. Earlier, troops occupied a university in the city after firing rubber bullets at people there, it said. Two people were injured.

Police also launched tear gas and stun grenades in the direction of protesters in Yangon and in the town of Lashio in the northern Shan region, videos posted on Facebook showed.

A witness said police opened fire to break up a protest in the historic temple town of Bagan, and several residents said in social media posts that live bullets were used.

Video posted by Myanmar Now showed soldiers beating up men in Yangon, where at least three protests were held despite overnight raids by security forces on campaign leaders and opposition activists.

The United Nations says security forces have killed more than 50 people to stamp out daily demonstrations and strikes in the Southeast Asian nation since the military overthrew and detained Suu Kyi on Feb. 1.

Well over 1,700 people had been detained under the military junta by Saturday, according to figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners advocacy group. It did not give a figure for overnight detentions.

The killings have drawn anger in the West and been condemned by most democracies in Asia. The United States and some other Western countries have imposed limited sanctions on the junta.

China, Myanmar’s neighbor to the northeast, said on Sunday it is prepared to engage with “all parties” to ease the crisis and is not taking sides.

Protesters demand the release of Suu Kyi and respect for November’s election – which her party won in a landslide but which the Army rejected. The Army has said it will hold democratic elections at an unspecified date.

 

 

 

   
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