SMA NEWS – Myanmar
At least 11 demonstrators were killed in clashes with security forces in a town in northwest Myanmar after truckloads of troops arrived to quell a protest against the ruling military junta, domestic media reported on Thursday.
Protesters armed with homemade guns, knives and firebombs fought back against the troops in the town of Taze and more soldiers were brought in, the Myanmar Now and Irrawaddy news outlets said.
Fighting carried on into Thursday morning and at least 11 protesters were killed and about 20 wounded, they said. There was no word of any casualties among the soldiers.
It took the toll of civilians killed by security forces to more than 600 since the junta seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group.
Taze is near the town of Kale, where at least 12 people were killed in a similar clash between troops and protesters on Wednesday, according to news media and witnesses.
The incidents could signal a new phase in a struggle in which the opposition has largely used peaceful means of protest despite the lethal actions of the security forces.
“People will try to defend their own lives and their rights,” said a former government minister who belongs to the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a group of lawmakers representing the ousted civilian government.
“People will not wait for CRPH to act,” the minister told Reuters. “The CRPH cannot stop the possible armed resistance by the people, from the people.”The junta could not be reached for comment.