1204 GMT April 21, 2021
The country’s military ruler said the civil disobedience movement was “destroying” Myanmar, according to Reuters.
More than 580 people have been killed, according to an activist group, in the turmoil in Myanmar since a Feb. 1 coup that ended a brief period of civilian-led democracy. Nationwide protests and strikes have persisted since then despite the military’s use of lethal force to quell the opposition.
Security forces opened fire on Wednesday on protesters in the northwestern town of Kale as they demanded the restoration of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government, a resident told Reuters.
News outlets cited witnesses saying there were casualties and repeated gunfire. The Mizzima and Irrawaddy news outlets said five people were killed and several wounded.
The Kale resident said the information was provided to him by witnesses, who took pictures of five bodies.
Reuters could not independently verify the toll.
Two protesters were also killed in the town of Bago near Yangon, the Myanmar Now news outlet said.
A fire broke out in the Chinese-owned JOC Garment Factory in Yangon on Wednesday, news reports and the Fire Department said. There were no reports of casualties and no details on the extent of damage.
Arrest warrants have been issued for hundreds of people, with the junta this week going after scores of influencers, entertainers, artists and musicians.
The country’s most famous comedian, Zarganar, was arrested on Tuesday, media reported.