Myanmar protests again met with force

·2-min read

Protesters against last month's military takeover in Myanmar have returned to the streets in large numbers a day after staging a "silence strike" in which people were urged to stay home and businesses to close for the day.

Security forces sought to break up some of the protests by force.

Social media accounts and local news outlets reported violent attacks on demonstrators in Hpa-an, the capital of the southeastern Karen state, as well as the eastern Shan state's capital of Taunggyi and Mon state's capital of Mawlamyine, also in the southeast.

It was not clear if soldiers used live ammunition in addition to firing rubber bullets at the demonstrators.

According to Democratic Voice of Burma, a broadcast and online news service, two young men were shot and seriously wounded in Hpa-an.

Other protests proceeded peacefully, including in Mandalay and on a smaller scale in Yangon, the two largest cities.

The military's February 1 seizure of power ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won a landslide election victory last November.

It put the brakes on the country's return to democracy that began when Suu Kyi's party took office in 2016 for its first term, after more than five decades of military rule

Myanmar's Assistance Association for Political Prisoners says at least 286 people have been killed in connection with the crackdown.

It says 2906 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced at one point in connection with resisting the coup, with most remaining detained.

Kanbawza Tai News, an online news service based in Taunggyi, reported that four of its staff, including its publisher and its editor, were detained on Wednesday night.

It said the home of the editor was raided and materials seized.

About 40 journalists have been detained since the coup and roughly half are still in custody.

The military government has also ordered at least five news outlets to shut down, although they continue to operate.