(Reuters) – Myanmar police opened fired on Sunday on protests against military rule, killing at least four people and wounding several on the second day of a crackdown on demonstrations across the country, a doctor and a politician said.
A woman also died after police broke up a teachers’ protest with stun grenades in the main city of Yangon, though the cause of her death was not known, her daughter and a colleague said.
Myanmar has been in chaos since the army seized power and detained elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership on Feb. 1, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.
The coup, which brought a halt to tentative steps towards democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets and the condemnation of Western countries.
“Myanmar is like a battlefield,” the Buddhist-majority country’s first Catholic cardinal, Charles Maung Bo, said on Twitter.
Police opened fire in different parts of Yangon after stun grenades and tear gas failed to disperse crowds.
One man died after being brought to a hospital with a bullet wound in the chest, said a doctor at the hospital who asked not to be identified.
Police also opened fire in the southern town of Dawei, killing three and wounding several, politician Kyaw Min Htike told Reuters from the town.
The Irrawaddy online media outlet reported one person had been killed in the second city of Mandalay, where police also cracked down, while a charity reported two dead in the central town of Bago.
Police and the spokesman for the ruling military council did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.
Police also cracked down in the northeastern town of Lashio and Myeik in the deep south, residents and media reported.
Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing said last week authorities were using minimal force to deal with the protests.
Nevertheless, at least five protesters have died in the turmoil. The army said a policeman has been killed.