Feb 26, 2021 19:27 UTC
  • Police, mob of junta supporters attack anti-coup protesters in Myanmar

Police in Myanmar have attacked anti-coup protesters in the country’s two biggest cities, and a mob of junta supporters have attacked demonstrators with knives and clubs.

Police dispersed protesters in the main city of Yangon and the city of Mandalay on Friday, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at them, and live fire into the air, according to witnesses.

At least one person was injured in the protests in Yangon, and a photograph posted online from Mandalay appeared to show a wounded protester in the back of an ambulance. It was not clear how that individual was hurt.

Several people, including a Japanese journalist, were also detained.

Military chief General Min Aung Hlaing claimed that authorities were using minimal force, but at least three protesters have been shot dead in the country, so far.

According to a rights group, as of Wednesday, 728 people had been arrested, charged, or sentenced in relation to the protests.

Mob of junta supporters attack protesters

On Thursday, a group of about 1,000 supporters of the military regime turned up for a rally in Yangon, attacking rival anti-coup protesters and threatening news photographers and media workers.

Witnesses said a group of men, some of them armed with knives, were beating people, and others were firing catapults and hurling stones at protesters.

At least two people were stabbed, video footage showed.

In one incidence, several men, one wielding a large knife, attacked a man outside a city-center hotel.

Emergency workers rushed to help the bloodied man after his attackers moved off, but his condition was not known.

For about the past three weeks, the Southeast Asian country has been the scene of daily protests against the military, which grabbed power in a coup in early February. The army ousted the government of de facto leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi and arrested her and several political leaders.