Protesters and security forces facing off in Yangon (NYT photo)
Police and protesters clashed in Myanmar on Tuesday, with injuries on both sides on the most violent day so far of demonstrations against the military coup that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi, and a doctor said one woman was unlikely to survive a gun wound in the head.
Three other people were being treated for wounds from suspected rubber bullets after police fired guns, mostly into the air, and used water cannon to try to clear protesters in the capital Naypyidaw. State TV 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 February 1 and detained her and other politicians from her National League for Democracy (NLD).
The military claimed that the NLD won by fraud — an accusation dismissed by the election committee and Western governments. Late on Tuesday, police in Myanmar raided the NLD’s headquarters in Yangon, two elected NLD lawmakers said. The raid was carried out by about a dozen police personnel, who forced their way into the building after dark, they said. The UN expressed concern about the use of force against demonstrators. According to reports from Naypyitaw, Mandalay and other cities, numerous demonstrators have been injured, some of them seriously.
The UNHRC is to hold a special session on Friday to consider “the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar”. The US said it is continuing to make Myanmar a priority and is conducting a review of assistance to the country. New Zealand on Tuesday suspended all military and high-level political contact with Myanmar.