At least two dead at protests against coup in Myanmar; reports

At least two people were killed in protests against the military coup in Myanmar on Saturday, dpa news said quoting media reports.

At least six other participants in a rally in the city of Mandalay were injured, the news portals Myanmar Now and Frontier Myanmar said.

Security forces fired live ammunition at demonstrators in the South-East Asian nation’s second-largest city.

Independent verification of the information was not immediately possible. Photos on social media showed bleeding people being carried away on stretchers.

According to Myanmar Now, hundreds of protesters had gathered near a shipyard in Mandalay to support striking workers. They had been pressured by the authorities to return to work.

Twenty vehicles with soldiers and police and two water cannon were brought to the site to break up the rally. According to witnesses, at least 10 people were arrested.

EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell condemned the actions of the military and security forces and called on them to immediately stop violence against civilians.

He added that the EU Foreign Affairs Council will on Monday discuss the latest events in Myanmar and “take appropriate decisions.”

Washington’s State Department spokesperson Ned Price Tweeted late Saturday that the US was “deeply concerned” by the reports of the continued harassment and detainment of demonstrators.

“We stand with the people of Burma,” he wrote.

Protests in Myanmar have been ongoing for almost three weeks. The military overthrew the elected government and deposed state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in early February.

On Friday, the first fatality in the protests was reported. According to media, a 20-year-old student who had been shot by police in the capital Naypyidaw succumbed to severe head injuries.