Junta troops kill two protesters in Mogok at National Unity Government rally

Two protesters were shot and killed by regime troops during a demonstration on Saturday to welcome the anti-junta National Unity Government (NUG) in the Mandalay Region town of Mogok, according to local sources. 

Around 100 soldiers and police arrived at the scene in Aung Chanthar ward and opened fire on the civilians present, eyewitnesses said. 

“One [of the protesters] was shot in the head. Another was shot in the abdomen,” a local who was also at the demonstration told Myanmar Now. 

The two casualties were two men: Soe Thet, 29, and Aung Moe Zaw, who was in his 50s, according to a local who was involved in the protest. 

According to a photo circulated in social media, police officers were seen transporting the bodies of two injured men– who appeared to be unconscious– in a cart to an area near Chanthargyi pagoda, where the troops had set up a base. 

They then put the men in an ambulance which eyewitnesses said was headed toward the Mogok Public Hospital. 

One of the two injured men transported in the cart was Soe Thet, the local said, adding that the other man in the cart had survived the ordeal.  

“They shot at people who attempted to pick up the bodies,” the protester at the scene said of the armed forces. “We weren’t able to get them,” he added. 

Police officers are seen transporting two bodies in a cart in Mogok on April 17 (CJ)

Two other protesters were injured after being shot in the leg and thigh, and were also apprehended and put in the ambulance by the troops, another local said. 

Around 1,000 Mogok residents showed up to the rally at 11am to welcome the NUG government– the cabinet of which was announced by the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on Friday.

The violent crackdown began 45 minutes later. 

In a video seen by Myanmar Now filmed by a local resident, a member of the armed forces is heard saying, ‘I want them dead. Do you hear me? Five of them.’ Another voice responded, ‘yes.’

The military’s information center had not released any information regarding the shootings in Mogok at the time of reporting, and had not responded to media inquiries. 

At least 10 protesters have been killed in Mogok by the regime’s armed forces for participating in anti-dictatorship protests since the February 1 coup, yet demonstrations have continued daily. 

Fighting between the military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has also recently broken out in Mogok, with the KIA launching an offensive against the junta’s troops. After news of the KIA attack, local youth expressed support for the Kachin army on social media. 

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on April 18 to include the names and ages of the victims and further eyewitness accounts from the scene. 


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