Soldier shoots man in head at close range as junta continues crackdown

The coup regime’s forces continued their murderous campaign to crush Myanmar’s pro-democracy uprising on Monday, killing at least 12 people in Yangon and other cities across the country, rescue teams and witnesses said.

The killings came a day after at least 63 people were slaughtered in Yangon alone, marking the bloodiest day so far since protests against Min Aung Hlaing’s rule began in early February. 

In Hlaing Tharyar, where most of Sunday’s killings took place, a man in his 50s was picking up trash after a protest had dispersed on Monday when a soldier walked up to him, pressed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. 

“They shot the old man in the temple. He died right there,” a witness told Myanmar Now.

Mobile internet access was cut across the country on Monday, making it more difficult for people to share information about the attacks. Six towships in Yangon, including Hlaing Tharyar, were also placed under martial law.

At around 3pm, some 40 trucks full of soldiers arrived at the Aung Zeya Bridge in Hlaing Tharyar to break up a demonstration, a protester who lives in the township said.

Two women in their 60s were killed as armed forces fired at people from Da Bin Shwe Htee Road, the resident said.

Their bodies were brought to a local hospital with an ambulance, as were three people injured during the shootings, he added.

‘Punish the perpetrators’ 

Fires raged at a number of Chinese-owned factories in Hlaing Tharyar on Sunday. No evidence has emerged about who was responsible. 

China’s Global Times reported that 32 factories with Chinese investors were vandalized in Yangon, with the damage amounting $36.89 million. Two Chinese employees were injured, the newspaper said. 

The Chinese embassy in Myanmar on Sunday called on people to express their demands lawfully and not be incited to undermine China-Myanmar relations.

“China urges Myanmar to take further effective measures to stop all acts of violence, punish the perpetrators in accordance with the law and ensure the safety of life and property of Chinese companies and personnel in Myanmar,” the statement said.

On Monday afternoon an official from a hospital in Yangon said four more people injured in Hlaing Tharyar on Sunday had passed away, bringing the total killed by the crackdown in the township on that day to 38. 

In Chanmya Tharzi, Mandalay, two anti-regime protesters were killed and several others were injured on Monday, according to medical workers.

The dead were identified as 26-year-old Than Htike Oo and 22-year-old Wai Phyo Thein. No further details were available at the time of reporting. 

Three others were killed in Myingyan, a township in Mandalay region. Rescue workers there said their vehicles were attacked and that they were unable to reach injured people because of the shooting. 

Two men – aged 25 and 30 – were killed in Aunglan, Magway region, according to a witness and a doctor. One was shot in the head and the other in the chest. The regime’s forces were deployed in front of the Aunglan police station and then fired on demonstrators, the witness said.

Driver shot through windscreen 

In Monywa, Sagaing region, about 2,500 people arrived from surrounding villages to protest against the regime. 

The scene after a man was shot dead in Monywa while driving people to a protest (Supplied)

A 45-year-old man who was driving a truck full of protesters into the town was shot in the chest, a witness told Myanmar Now.

The victim was identified as Ko Zaw and police and soldiers took his body away, the witness said.

“They shot the front wheels first and then fired from the front. There were two bullet holes in the windscreen,” said Aung Myint Tun, a protester. 

About 30 protesters riding in the truck were also arrested, he said.

In Bago, police and soldiers shot people in residential areas, killing at least one, on Monday afternoon, a resident told Myanmar Now.

An 18-year-old boy who was shot in the head and pronounced dead at a hospital in Bago at around 7pm, the resident said.

A 40-year-old man is receiving treatment after he was shot while riding a motorbike in the town.

“[Soldiers and police] were on their way out of the neighbourhood and shot the man on a motorbike. I think it was a random shooting to scare people,” he said.

Monday’s confirmed deaths mean more than 160 have been killed so far, according to figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

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