Two people in critical condition after police shoot peaceful protesters with live bullets in Naypyitaw – doctor 

Two people were fighting for their lives on Tuesday after police fired live bullets into a crowd of peaceful protesters in Naypyitaw, a doctor at a hospital in the capital told Myanmar Now. 

A 30-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were in critical condition after being shot, the doctor said, requesting anonymity. 

The attack came as demonstrators calling for the fall of the new dictatorship braved water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas during a fourth day of mass nationwide demonstrations against last week’s coup.

Tuesday’s protests went ahead in defiance of a ban on gatherings of more than four people imposed by the new regime on Monday.

The two injured protesters were among a crowd that gathered at the Thabyay Gone Centre in Naypyitaw that was also pummeled with jets of water and about 50 rounds of rubber bullets.

Than Htike Aung, a reporter with the Mizzima news website, was injured by a rubber bullet during the attacks. Two others were also injured. 

In Mandalay, where dozens have been violently snatched off the streets and arrested, police fired tear gas at a crowd of protesters.

About a dozen police and military trucks blocked the entrance to University Avenue at Hledan junction In Yangon as a large crowd gathered there.

On Monday, a week after staging a coup against a newly elected government, the military released a statement warning that action would be taken against “wrongdoers” if the protests continued.

Later that evening, the General Administration Department announced the ban on gatherings and an indefinite 8pm to 4am curfew.  

The department said groups of people had been trying to disrupt public stability, safety and law enforcement, which can cause riots, and that gatherings, giving speeches, and protesting were therefore banned.

Aung Myo, a 50-year-old protester who helped lead hundreds rallying in Yangon’s Thaketa township on Tuesday, said people did not need to follow the orders imposed by the military.

“It was not imposed by our elected government but by the military dictator. We are totally against it and condemn it,” he said, as protesters demanded the release of those detained last week and chanted “Down with the military dictatorship!”

Thousands of civil servants from the ministries of foreign affairs, education, agriculture and health, as well as staff from the Anti-Corruption Commission and the railways department have joined walkouts throughout the country aimed at crippling the regime. 

People from many other walks of life, from lawyers, engineers and construction workers to nurses and medical students, have also joined a general strike called on Monday.

At least one police officer in Naypyitaw and four police officers in the central town of Magwe have also joined the protests, with some wearing red ribbons, the symbol of  the civil disobedience movement.

Khun Aung Ko Ko, the police lieutenant who joined demonstrators in Naypyitaw, called for the “fall of dictator Min Aung Hlaing” in a printed statement handed out to protesters.

“I am aware I will be put in jail with a long prison sentence if our fight for democracy does not succeed,” he wrote. “But it’s worth fighting for over 50 million people in this country by doing what I believe in.”

“Even if I lose my dearest daughter in this fight for our next generation, it’s worth it. I will be happy to die together with my daughter. I do not want my daughter to live under the rule of dictator Min Aung Hlaing and witness his wickedness and selfishness,” he added. “My sacrifice for the people and members of the police force, to fight for democracy and the fall of dictator Min Aung Hlaing, will be worth it.”  

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