Security forces in Myanmar have fired on pro-democracy protesters, killing five people, media reports say.
Monday’s killings came a day after dozens of demonstrators were shot dead and attackers burned several Chinese-owned factories in the city of Yangon.
Supporters of detained national leader Aung San Suu Kyi marched again earlier on Monday, including in the second city of Mandalay and western town of Hakha, where the rallies were peaceful. There were also rallies in the central towns of Myingyan and Aunglan, where police opened fire.
Three people were killed in Myingyan and two in Aunglan town, the Myanmar Now media outlet reported.
Monday’s protests were a direct response to an escalation of violence by the authorities during the previous day’s mainly peaceful demonstrations. A Reuters report on Sunday said dozens of protesters were killed in what it called the bloodiest day in Myanmar since the February 1 coup.
On Sunday, China, widely considered to be the main supporter of the coup, issued its strongest statement yet, when, in response to Sunday’s arson attacks, it urged Myanmar’s ruling generals to stop violence and ensure the safety of people and property.
China’s Global Times newspaper said thirty-two Chinese-invested factories were “vandalised in vicious attacks”, causing 37 million Dollars in damages while injuring two Chinese employees.
The worst of Sunday’s bloodshed came in the Yangon suburb of Hlaingthaya where security forces killed at least thirty-seven protesters after arson attacks on Chinese-owned factories Reuters reported.
Sixteen protesters and one policeman were killed in other places, a rights group for Political Prisoners said on Sunday.
Other media reports have confirmed that the authorities have imposed martial law in Hlaingthaya and several other districts of Yangon, and in parts of Mandalay.
The latest deaths on Sunday and Monday bring the toll from the protests across Myanmar to about 140.