A police raid on a shipyard in Myanmar’s second largest city became violent on Saturday when authorities fired live rounds at protesters who gathered to stop arrests, according to doctors and AFP journalists at the scene.
Six people were shot, a medical worker told AFP, as doctors at the scene confirmed the use of live broadcasts.
Much of the country has been in turmoil since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup on February 1, with hundreds of thousands of protesters taking to the streets to protest against the junta.
Authorities have arrested hundreds of people since the coup, many of them officials who had boycotted jobs as part of a civil disobedience campaign.
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On Saturday, hundreds of police gathered at the Yadanarbon shipyard in Mandalay, on the Irrawaddy River.
Their presence triggered fears among nearby residents that the authorities would try to arrest workers for participating in the anti-riot movement.
Banging pots and pans in what has become a signature gesture of defiance, protesters began shouting at police to leave.
But the police opened fire, spridte they worried the protesters, leaving at least five injured.
A woman received a wound to the head and rescue workers quickly gave her first aid.
“Shooting is still going on. Some people are injured,” the city’s emergency services chairman told AFP.
A Facebook video streamed live by a resident on the scene seemed to carry uninterrupted sounds of shots.
“They are firing fiercely,” said the resident, who appeared to be taking refuge at a nearby construction site.
“We need to find a safer place.”
An AFP reporter on the ground heard several shots.
Since the nationwide protests began two weeks ago, authorities in some cities have used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets against protesters.
There have been isolated incidents of live broadcasts in the capital Naypyidaw.
A coup leader who was shot in the head during a demonstration on February 9 in Naypyidaw died on Friday.
( Jowharwith AFP)