Myanmar military reported having killed at least 11 people in overnight clashes with anti-coup protesters in northwest Taze as rights group confirms 598 people killed by military since February 1 ouster of Aung San Suu Kyi.
The troops fired at protesters in a clash that started on Wednesday evening, the Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now news outlets said. Protesters fought back with hunting rifles and firebombs, they said.
At least 11 protesters were killed and several injured, local media reported.
Quiet diplomacy utterly failed to constrain the Myanmar military--first its atrocities against the Rohingya, and now its coup & shooting protesters. The UN is rightfully speaking out, pressuring the junta to reverse course rather than tacitly accepting it. https://t.co/yPgQmxu3QD pic.twitter.com/pbbtzFHF3i— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) April 8, 2021
Hunt for celebrities
Myanmar security forces have arrested Paing Takhon, a model and actor who had spoken out against the coup, as activists placed shoes filled with flowers in parts of Yangon to commemorate dead protesters.
The actor's arrest on Thursday came as the junta hunts more than 100 celebrities for supporting the anti-coup movement in the country.
Troops opened fire on pro-democracy protesters earlier on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens, activists and media said.
At least 598 people have been killed by military since February 1 ouster of Aung San Suu Kyi. civilians have been killed by security forces in the turmoil since the junta seized power from the elected government of Aung San Su Kyi in February, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said on Wednesday.
Arrest warrants have been issued for hundreds of people, with the junta this week going after scores of influencers, entertainers, artists and musicians.
Paing Takhon, 24, a model and actor well-known in Myanmar and Thailand, was one of the latest to be detained among celebrities in the country. He had condemned the military's takeover and pledged support for Suu Kyi.
His sister, Thi Thi Lwin, said that the military detained her brother at 4.30 am at their parents' home in Yangon, where he had been staying for several days while unwell.
The security forces came with 8 military trucks and about 50 soldiers and it was unclear where he had been taken, she said.
Paing Takhon had been suffering from malaria and a heart condition, his sister said.
The country’s most famous comedian, Zarganar, was arrested on Tuesday, media reported.
'Locked out of embassy'
Overseas, diplomatic tussles emerged again on Wednesday.
Myanmar's ambassador to London Kyaw Zwar Minn said he was locked out of the embassy, with sources saying his deputy had shut him out and taken charge on behalf of the military.
The junta recalled Kyaw Zwar Minn last month after he issued a statement urging them to release Suu Kyi and deposed civilian President Win Myint.
Protesters gathered outside the mission with the ousted ambassador, who told the Daily Telegraph that "when I left the embassy, they stormed inside the embassy and took it."
"They said they received instruction from the capital, so they are not going to let me in," he added, calling on the British government to intervene.
"It's a kind of coup, in the middle of London... you can see that they occupy my building," he told Reuters.
Asked who had taken over, he replied: "Defence attache, they occupy my embassy".
According to The Times newspaper, the ambassador said the defence attache had sought to install Chit Kin, his former deputy, as charge d'affaires.
Britain has been a strong critic of the coup, hitting the military with several sets of sanctions, and its foreign ministry said it was "seeking further information" about the embassy standoff.
British foreign minister Dominic Raab also tweeted his support for the ambassador.
"We condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday, and I pay tribute to Kyaw Zwar Minn for his courage," Raab wrote.
There have also been similar counter claims in embassies in other global centres and at the United Nations.
Meanwhile, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, leader of the army coup on February 1, said in a statement on Wednesday that the civil disobedience movement, or CDM, had halted the working of hospitals, schools, roads, offices and factories.
"CDM is an activity to destroy the country," he said.
Fitch Solutions said in a report that Western sanctions targeting the military were unlikely to succeed in restoring democracy, but said the army was losing control.
It predicted a violent revolution pitting the military against an armed opposition comprised of members of the anti-coup movement and ethnic militias.
"The escalating violence on civilians and ethnic militias show that the Tatmadaw (military) is increasingly losing control of the country," it said.
We condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday, and I pay tribute to Kyaw Zwar Minn for his courage. The UK continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and a swift restoration of democracy— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) April 8, 2021
The vast majority of people back Suu Kyi's ousted government, it added.
Suu Kyi and leading figures in her National League for Democracy party, which won an election in November that was annulled by the coup, are currently in detention facing various charges.
The United Nations' special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, hopes to visit the country in the next few days, a UN spokesman said in New York.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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