Myanmar death toll rises to 18 as security forces shoot into crowds and hurl stun grenades as they step up force against opponents of a military coup

Myanmar death toll rises to 18 as security forces shoot into crowds and hurl stun grenades as they step up force against opponents of a military coup

By DANYAL HUSSAIN FOR MAILONLINE and AFP

MYANMAR — A crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar has left at least 18 people dead and more than 30 wounded, the UN Human Rights Office has revealed.

It is the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a coup on February 1.

There were reports of gunfire as police in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, fired tear gas and water cannons while trying to clear the streets of demonstrators.

Photos of shell casings from live ammunition used in assault rifles were posted on social media.

‘Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku,’ The UN body said in a statement, referring to several cities in Myanmar.

‘Tear gas was also reportedly used in various locations as well as flash-bang and stun grenades.’

‘We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters,’ its spokesman Ravina Shamdasani was quoted saying.

Reports on social media identified by name one young man believed to have been killed in Yangon. His body was shown in photos and videos lying on a pavement until other protesters were able to carry him away.

A violent crackdown also occurred in Dawei, a much smaller city in south-eastern Myanmar, where local media reported that at least three people were killed during a protest march. (AI/Courtesy by MailOnlineUK)

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