More than 70 people arrested in Mandalay for resisting military dictatorship

Security forces carried out a violent crackdown on demonstrations in Mandalay on Sunday, using sound grenades and tear gas against protesters while also carrying out mass arrests. 

Police and soldiers broke up a protest at the intersection of 22nd and 89th streets in Mandalay, where striking workers from the education and health sectors held a sit-in alongside students.

As protesters fled the scene, eyewitnesses said security forces chased them, culminating in the arrest of more than 70 people.

“Men in plainclothes told residents in the ward that they were the leaders of the protest and asked for the students. They were searching house by house,” an eyewitness told Myanmar Now.

Elsewhere in Mandalay, Myanmar army troops occupied a university, despite local objections. 

Four military trucks arrived at Mandalay Technological University at around 6:00 a.m. on March 7 and soldiers asked university staff and community members if they could use the institution as a makeshift base. They rejected the request. Four more military trucks then arrived and soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the people until they cleared the area. 

Ko Kyaw Thu, a 35-year-old university security guard, suffered a severe injury below his eye in the attack and had to undergo immediate surgery to treat it. Another member of the university community was injured when a rubber bullet hit his thigh. 

“They used tear gas. Small pieces of iron also hit me,” Kyaw Thu said. “Two teachers were beaten. Now [the soldiers] have made a base in the university. They were still shooting when we fled. So far, that’s all I know.”

Kyaw Thu, a 35-year-old security guard at the Mandalay Technological University, suffered a severe injury below his eye in the attack by the security forces. (Supplied)

Members of the Mandalay public have been resisting the Feb 1 military coup every day for more than one month. Soldiers and police have violently suppressed their protests, including through the use of live gunfire, which has resulted in multiple civilian deaths. 

Security forces also carried out a crackdown in the ancient city of Bagan in Mandalay Region on Sunday morning. According to eyewitnesses, the military’s Light Infantry Division (LID) 88 were shooting at Bagan protesters with both rubber bullets and live ammunition.

At least five people are confirmed to have been injured in the gunfire.

One civilian was also arrested in front of an e-bike repair shop while having their motorbike fixed. 

Police and soldiers are seen in Bagan on Sunday after a crackdown on anti-coup protesters. (Supplied)


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