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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

February 16, 2021
Police use water cannon to disperse demonstrators during a protest in Mandalay, Myanmar, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Police were cracking down on the demonstrators against Myanmar’s military takeover who took to the streets in defiance of new protest bans. (AP Photo)

(ZeroHedge News) - There are widespread reports emerging Monday out of Myanmar that military and police are using increasingly harsh and potentially deadly tactics to quash anti-coup protests there.
Despite a near total internet and telecommunications outage across the country social media videos are being posted of large-scale troop and armored vehicle deployments to the streets. Chaotic scenes of blasts and flash-bangs show anti-riot tactics deployed on crowds, but also suggest 'live fire' could be happening - though there's still conflicting reports over whether security forces are using live ammo or rubber bullets.

"Armored vehicles have rolled into Myanmar cities amid fears of a crackdown on anti-coup protesters after nine days of mass demonstrations demanding a return to civilian rule," Al Jazeera reported Sunday of the worsening situation.

And on Monday the Associated Press reports that security forces have been seen aiming rifles at groups of protesters:

"More than 1,000 protesters were rallying in front of the Myanmar Economic Bank in Mandalay, the country's second-largest city, when at least 10 trucks full of soldiers and police arrived and started firing slingshots toward the protesters before they even got out of the trucks, according to a photographer who witnessed the events.
The soldiers and police then attacked the protesters with sticks and slingshots, and police could be seen aiming long guns into the air amid sounds that resembled gunfire. Local media reported that rubber bullets were also fired into the crowd, and that a few people were injured.
Police were also seen pointing guns toward the protesters."

Scenes like the below are ubiquitous on social media, showing armored troop carriers blocking city streets.

Currently there's been a handful of critical injuries among protesters wounded by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, including one woman hit in the head by a projectile who doctors said is not expected to recover.

Anti-coup protesters on social media have begun alleging police are resorting to live ammunition to disperse demonstrators:

"Security forces opened fire to disperse protesters outside one plant in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin state, footage aired live on Facebook showed, although it was not clear if they were using rubber bullets or live fire," Al Jazeera described Sunday.

By all appearances the protesters are getting bolder in their tactics, which is likely to provoke a fiercer response from security forces.

Last Friday the junta declared it illegal to use "incorrect words" such as coup when referring to the new government, according to a Ministry of Information announcement.

The message further claimed the newly issued one year 'state of emergency' is "in accordance" with the constitution.

The United States among other nations recently formally declared it recognizes that a coup d'état has occurred, which began Feb. 1 with the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders.


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