Myanmar a battlefield: UN after 18 dead as security forces fire on protesters


Yangon, March 1: The UN Human Rights Office says it has “credible information” of at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded across Myanmar on Sunday during a crackdown on anti-military protesters.

Groups of demonstrators turned out early in Yangon and other cities to protest the Feb. 1 coup and demand that the nation’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and members of her ousted government be freed from detention. Internet access has been blocked.

Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku, it 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 spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani was quoted saying.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs had spoken with his Malaysian counterpart, Hishammuddin Hussein, on February 23 via video conference.

The ministers discussed the situation in Burma/ Myanmar following the military coup and expressed their deep concern. They agreed on the key role that ASEAN can play in responding to the crisis. The minister underscored the commitment of the EU, which adopted, on February 22, the principle of new restrictive measures against Myanmar’s military leaders.

The minsters discussed their shared vision for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, founded on the rule of law and where ASEAN has a key role to play. They underscored the quality and strength of our bilateral relations and expressed the desire to strengthen them, especially in the areas of health and academic cooperation, notably by promoting student mobility, as soon as health conditions allow.

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