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Myanmar police use tear gas to break up protests as ousted president faces 2 new charges

   March 3, 2021 12:46 AM
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by CNA/Reuters/jt

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Protests against a military coup in Myanmar showed no sign of abating with more planned across the country on Wednesday (Mar 3), while Myanmar's ousted President Win Myint is said to be facing two new charges.

Security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in several places, including the main cities of Yangon and Mandalay, and there were also reports of live ammunition being used in some places. At least 21 people have been killed since the Feb 1 coup and police opened fire to break up crowds again on Tuesday.

"Oh my eyes, it hurts," one woman in a teacher's uniform shouted as she and other protesters scattered through a cloud of tear gas in the second city of Mandalay, according to a live video feed.

Nine people were hurt when police fired rubber bullets in Mandalay, the Myanmar Now news agency reported.

The Monywa Gazette reported five people were wounded when security forces fired live ammunition in that central town and there were also unconfirmed reports of firing and injuries in the two other central towns, Myingyan and Magway. A spokesman for the ruling military council did not answer telephone calls seeking comment.

Security forces detained about 400 protesters as they broke up protests in Yangon, Myanmar Now reported. One activist said several protest leaders were among those taken away.

Video posted on social media showed long lines of young men, hands on heads, filing into army trucks as police and soldiers stood guard. Reuters was not able to verify the footage.

Protesters were also out in Chin State in the west, Kachin State in the north, Shan State in the northeast, the central region of Sagaing and the south, media and residents said.

"We're aiming to show that no one in this country wants dictatorship," Salai Lian, an activist in Chin State, told Reuters.

A group tracking arrests said dozens more people may have been detained on Tuesday, including a protest organiser who it said was taken away at gunpoint by security personnel in unmarked cars.

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