UN Human Rights Office says 18 dead in Myanmar crackdown John Marchesan

The U.N. Human Rights Office says it has received “credible information” that a crackdown Sunday on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar has left at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded.

“Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku,” it said in a statement, referring to several cities in Myanmar. “Tear gas was also reportedly used in various locations as well as flash-bang and stun grenades.”

“We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters,” its spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani was quoted saying.

It would be the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a Feb. 1 coup.

The Canadian embassy in Yangon issued a statement on Facebook, saying it is “appalled” by the increase in the use of violence against protesters.

“We unequivocally condemn any use of force by security forces against unarmed protesters, as well as ongoing arrests and detentions of protesters, politicians, civil servants, civil society activists, journalists and pro-democracy leaders,” reads part of the post. “The Embassy of Canada calls on the military and police to refrain from and to cease immediately all attacks, intimidation and threats against protesters, and to release those detained.”

More to come

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