Villagers in Myanmar made a roadblock with oil drums and wooden benches to stop police and army trucks following clashes in which three protesters were reportedly killed and at least seven injured.
Security forces sparked chaotic scenes when they opened fire with live ammo following the unrest in Mandalay this afternoon (Feb 20).
Several injured people were taken away and bodies were reportedly carried from the scene.
Angry locals then made a roadblock with metal drums, wooden benches and other scrap as they hit the items with planks of wood and yelled anti-military chants.
The violent scenes came after villagers protesting against the military coup in the country tried to stop a ship leaving the Yadanarbon Jetty – part of a nationwide campaign of unrest that started after the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.
Police then allegedly retaliated with rubber bullets and live rounds. Gunshots and automatic weapons can be heard being fired in the video.
Some locals fired sling shots at the security forces and objects were thrown at them. The video filmer – who said he witnessed people being shot – said that there were at least 15 rounds fired.
Onlookers said that at least seven people were injured – some seriously – with pools of blood being seen on the ground.
‘The situation was intense,’ said the photographer who recorded the video.
‘The police reacted aggressively. There are bodies being carried away. I think that three people were dead.’
Locals said the confrontation was sparked after staff from a shipping company joined the Civil Disobedience Movement – a nationwide attempt to force the government to release Aung San Suu Kyi – but were this morning forced to return to work.
There was a confrontation shortly afterwards before reinforcements of police and military trucks arrived at the scene and chaos followed, with shots being fired.
The brutal scenes came days after a mass protest where thousands of drivers blocked roads as part of the Civil Disobedience Movement’ attempt to cripple infrastructure and force army chiefs to back down, after they seized power on February 1.
Protests have erupted across Myanmar, or Burma, following the brutal military coup on February 1, which saw the well-like Nobel Peace Prize Laurette Aung Sang Suu Kyi detained alongside other civilian politicians.
Villagers in Mawlamyine, formerly Moulmein, held up a passing train. Villagers in Moulmein, 300km southeast of Rangoon, now called Yangon, said the blockade was part of the ‘Civil Disobedience Movement’ which has spread amid calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released.
Protesters are now urging government employees to strike and bring the country to a halt to prevent the army from consolidating power.
Hard-line military chiefs seized power with force on February 1 and have reacted with brutal crackdowns, blasting locals with water cannon, firing gunshots, closing communications and enforcing curfews.
Army chiefs last reacted to the mass protests by closing Internet and phone connections across the capital. They then blasted protesters with water cannon and fired warning gunshots.
International pressure on Myanmar has grown, with U.S. Democrat politicians warning of sanctions on the country.
Burma was governed by Britain from 1824 to 1948, during which time it became the second-wealthiest country in Southeast Asia but following independence was ruled by the military until 2011 when democratic reforms began. It changed its name to Myanmar.