POLICE in Myanmar opened fired on protesters on Tuesday in several cities with live rounds, witnesses and local media reported, killing at least nine people in the worst bloodshed since 18 were killed on Sunday.
The people were killed in separate protests in different cities, including Mandalay and Yangon.
The videos and pictures on social media showed soldiers threatening and brutally beating people working for medical aid after forcing them out of the ambulance.
The soldiers have been using tear gas, stun guns grenades and rubber bullets as well to disperse the protesters but they have been defying the military and returning to the streets every day to protest against the 1 February military coup.
Student activist Moe Myint Hein, 25, who was wounded in the leg, said ‘they opened fire on us with live bullets. One was killed, he’s young, a teenage boy, shot in the head.’
On Sunday after police fired on anti-coup demonstrations in cities across Myanmar on Sunday, human rights organisations confirmed that at least 18 protesters were killed.
The United Nations Human Rights Office condemned the violence against protesters, saying it had ‘credible information’ that at least 18 people had been killed on Sunday and added that more than 30 others were injured.
‘The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy,’ spokesman Ravina Shamdasani said. ‘Use of lethal force against non-violent demonstrators is never justifiable under international human rights norms.’
At least four people were killed in the largest city, Yangon, as police fired bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.
Protesters remained defiant. ‘If they push us, we’ll rise. If they attack us, we’ll defend. We’ll never kneel down to the military boots,’ said Nyan Win Shein.
Amy Kyaw said: ‘Police started shooting just as we arrived. They didn’t say a word of warning. Some got injured and some teachers are still hiding in neighbours’ houses.’
Some demonstrators were herded away in police vans.
In the south-eastern city of Dawei security forces moved to break up a rally, live rounds were used and four people were killed.
At a large rally in Mandalay police used water cannon and fired rounds into the air. One person was killed.
Protests continued elsewhere, including the north-eastern town of Lashio, while the UN said deaths were reported in Myeik, Bago and Pokokku.
The number of arrests since the protests began has not been confirmed. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group put the figure at 850, but hundreds more were arrested during and since the weekend.