Header Ads

Battlezone Myanmar: Plumes of smoke rise over country's biggest city as security forces fire on unarmed protesters bringing death toll to more than 200

 Plumes of smoke rose over Myanmar's largest city today as security forces fired on unarmed protesters to bring the death toll to more than 200.

Terrified residents have fled the industrial neighbourhood in Yangon that has been turned into a battle zone, with burning barricades billowing in the streets and bullets whizzing over them.

Hardline anti-coup protesters blocked a bridge leading into the Hlaing Tharyar township, with some hurling petrol bombs at the security forces while hiding behind makeshift barricades.


The military junta, which seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, has deployed increasingly heavier force to crush the rebellion, including with live rounds.

Monday saw four more Yangon townships put under martial law, adding to two subjected to the measures on Sunday - the deadliest day of the anti-coup demonstrations, when more than 70 people were killed. 

Although many residents have fled the carnage, the rest have been left under the complete control of military commanders in neighbourhoods that look like war zones.   

Protesters take cover behind homemade shields as they face the security forces during a protest in Yangon on Tuesday

Protesters take cover behind homemade shields as they face the security forces during a protest in Yangon on Tuesday

Plumes of smoke rose over Myanmar's capital today as security forces fired on unarmed protesters to bring the death toll to more than 200

Plumes of smoke rose over Myanmar's capital today as security forces fired on unarmed protesters to bring the death toll to more than 200

Terrified residents have fled the industrial neighbourhood in Yangon that has been turned into a battle zone, with burning barricades billowing in the streets and bullets whizzing over them. Pictured: Tyres have been set on fire to create smoke cover

Terrified residents have fled the industrial neighbourhood in Yangon that has been turned into a battle zone, with burning barricades billowing in the streets and bullets whizzing over them. Pictured: Tyres have been set on fire to create smoke cover

A satellite image shows smoke and fire billowing into the air from damaged buildings at the Global Fashion Garment Factory in Yangon

A satellite image shows smoke and fire billowing into the air from damaged buildings at the Global Fashion Garment Factory in Yangon

Hardline anti-coup protesters blocked a bridge leading into the Hlaing Tharyar township, with some hurling petrol bombs at the security forces while hiding behind makeshift barricades

Hardline anti-coup protesters blocked a bridge leading into the Hlaing Tharyar township, with some hurling petrol bombs at the security forces while hiding behind makeshift barricades


Pope Francis today appealed for an end to the country's bloodshed and said: 'Even I kneel on the streets of Myanmar and say "stop the violence".' 

Speaking at the end of his general audience, Francis said those who have died there have done so 'to offer hope to their country'.

The junta on Sunday imposed martial law on Hlaing Tharyar and later on other protest hotspot townships - effectively placing nearly two million people under complete control of military commanders. 

Residents - many of them migrant workers - have since fled back to their home states, piling their belongs and families onto flat-bed trucks and the backs of motorbikes.

Those who stayed reported scenes akin to war.

'There was constant gunshots the entire night and we didn't get to sleep,' one resident told AFP, adding people were worried about even walking on the streets for fear of getting targeted by security forces.

'Currently there are very few people out on the streets.' 

Hardline anti-coup protesters had camped on a bridge leading into the township's main roads on Tuesday evening, wearing hard hats, gas masks and carrying shields.


Smoke rises from tires burning at a barricade erected by protesters to stop government forces crossing a bridge leading into the Hlaing Tharyar township

Smoke rises from tires burning at a barricade erected by protesters to stop government forces crossing a bridge leading into the Hlaing Tharyar township

A protester throws a petrol bomb at security forces as others, wearing only plastic helmets, take cover behind makeshift shields in Yangon on Tuesday

A protester throws a petrol bomb at security forces as others, wearing only plastic helmets, take cover behind makeshift shields in Yangon on Tuesday

A protester uses a fire extinguisher to put out a fire started by security forces during a demonstration in Yangon

A protester uses a fire extinguisher to put out a fire started by security forces during a demonstration in Yangon 

Protesters walk amidst a plume of black smoke near a makeshift barricade during a crackdown by security forces on demonstrations against the military coup in Yangon

Protesters walk amidst a plume of black smoke near a makeshift barricade during a crackdown by security forces on demonstrations against the military coup in Yangon

Protesters, some only having makeshift shields to protect themselves from tear gas, bullets and fire, take cover from the security forces

Protesters, some only having makeshift shields to protect themselves from tear gas, bullets and fire, take cover from the security forces

They has also erected barricades made out of tyres, wood, sandbags and bamboo poles.

Some of those barricades were burnt, leading to heavy black smoke rising above the mostly deserted streets.

Some protesters threw petrol bombs at the security forces, but otherwise appeared defenceless as they hid behind makeshift shields.

In a residential area of a neighbouring township, video footage verified by AFP showed volleys of gunfire going non-stop for roughly 15 seconds.

Information on arrests and violence have been trickling out of the conflict areas on social media - the flow slowed due to the junta's throttling of mobile data.

Much of Myanmar has not been able to use their mobile internet since the early hours of Monday. The country is also placed under a nightly internet shutdown for eight hours.

Protesters take cover behind a makeshift barricade erected to deter security forces in Yangon

Protesters take cover behind a makeshift barricade erected to deter security forces in Yangon

The demonstators stand behind a barricade made of tyres as they try and stop the security forces from crossing the Bayint Nuang Bridge in Yangon

The demonstators stand behind a barricade made of tyres as they try and stop the security forces from crossing the Bayint Nuang Bridge in Yangon

Information on arrests and violence have been trickling out of the conflict areas on social media - the flow slowed due to the junta's throttling of mobile data. Pictured: Protesters take cover behind barrier made of tyres

Information on arrests and violence have been trickling out of the conflict areas on social media - the flow slowed due to the junta's throttling of mobile data. Pictured: Protesters take cover behind barrier made of tyres

People are grieving: Family members mourn at the funeral of Khant Nyar Hein in Yangon on Tuesday after the first year medical student was shot dead during a crackdown by security forces

People are grieving: Family members mourn at the funeral of Khant Nyar Hein in Yangon on Tuesday after the first year medical student was shot dead during a crackdown by security forces

More than 200 people have died in anti-coup unrest, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group.

The United Nations on Tuesday again condemned the deaths in Myanmar, adding that it was worried of reports of torture and deaths of those in custody.

'The death toll has soared over the past week in Myanmar, where security forces have been using lethal force increasingly aggressively against peaceful protesters,' UN rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters.

'Deeply distressing reports of torture in custody have also emerged.'

The office had determined that 'at least five deaths in custody have occurred in recent weeks,' she said, adding that 'at least two victims' bodies have shown signs of severe physical abuse indicating that they were tortured.'

3 comments:

  1. If a country has NO GUNS then you'll get no justice and no peace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This smells like a US-China proxy war.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Paid enemy combatants. They knew the risks; or should have.

    ReplyDelete