Police and protesters clashed in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw yesterday in the most violent day of demonstrations against a military coup that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi. Four people were wounded, one seriously after police fired guns and used water cannons to clear protesters. State television reported injuries to police during their attempts to disperse protesters – its first acknowledgement of the demonstrations taking place in the country.
The incidents marked the first bloodshed since the military, led by army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, overthrew Suu Kyi’s newly elected government on Feb. 1 and detained her and other politicians from her National League for Democracy (NLD). The military alleged that the NLD won by fraud – an accusation dismissed by the election committee and Western governments.
The United Nations called on Myanmar’s security forces to respect people’s right to protest peacefully. The UN representative in Myanmar,Ola Almgren said use of disproportionate force against demonstrators is unacceptable. The U.S. The State Department said it was reviewing assistance to Myanmar to ensure those responsible for the coup face significant consequences. State TV described the protests as being orchestrated by people who wanted to harm the nation’s stability and had acted aggressively.