Myanmar Intensifies Crackdown on Anti-Coup Protesters
On Monday, police and soldiers intensified their response by firing slingshots and, reportedly, rubber bullets at anti-coup protesters in Myanmar. The police were also seen attacking protesters with sticks and firing guns into the air. The demonstrations have been ongoing for several weeks since the military staged a coup on Jan 31 and arrested the democratically elected officials. The protesters do not wish to return to military rule and demand the release and return to power for the democratically elected officials.
The democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been under house arrest since the coup. She was supposed to be released on Monday, however, the junta extended her detention until Feb 17.
The military claims that there was widespread fraud in the election and uses that as justification for the coup.
The protests have been growing in size and scope throughout the country over the last few weeks, defying military orders. Myanmar, which spent five decades under military rule, had recently undergone a democratic transition and elected Aung San Suu Kyi as leader as well as given the majority of the seats in parliament to Kyi's National League for Democracy Party.
Other nations, including the US, have condemned the coup saying that the outcome of the recent elections should be respected. The US also placed sanctions on Myanmar last week.
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