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Protests continue in Myanmar after UN envoy’s action

Security forces in Myanmar again used force to disperse anti-coup protesters on Saturday, a day after a UN special envoy urged the Security Council to take action to stop the junta violence. About 50 peaceful protesters were killed and injured.

Fresh protests were held in the biggest city of Yangon on Saturday morning, where unconscious grenades and tear gas were used against the protesters. On Wednesday, there were of 18 people killed.

Protests were also held in Myitkina, the northern state capital of Kachin, Myik, in the far south of the country, where police fired tear gas at students, and tear gas was also used in Davai in the southeast. Other locations include Kikikto, in the eastern state of Mon, Loikaw, the capital of Kayah state in eastern Myanmar, and Mingyan, a city where a defender was killed on Wednesday.

The escalation of violence has put pressure on the world community to ease the pressure that took power by ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on 1 February. The coup reversed years of slow progress towards democracy in Myanmar, which had been under military rule for five decades.

UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schreiner Bergner said in her briefing at the closed Security Council meeting on Friday that the council’s unity and “strong” action are “critical to preventing violence and the restoration of Myanmar’s democratic institutions.” He said, “We should condemn the action by the army.”

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