Security officials targeted crowds of demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets Tuesday for the fifth consecutive day in Myanmar, according to news reports.
Hundreds of anti-coup protesters wearing construction helmets and carrying makeshift shields hid behind barricades constructed of bamboo and debris to avoid rubber bullets and tear gas canisters from security forces in Yangon, Myanmar, the Associated Press reported. Officials opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators Sunday, killing at least 18 people and injuring several others.
People are continuing to protest the military coup across the country despite security forces responding with increasing violence including firing live munitions into crowds and conducting mass arrests, the AP reported. Demonstrators in Yangon sang songs and chanted at police lines and threw banana skins on the road separating them in an effort to slow down a police rush.
Protesters in Yangon ran away from their barricades when security forces fired tear gas canisters in their direction, but returned when it cleared, the AP reported. Reports of security forces using live rounds while responding to Tuesday demonstrations could not be confirmed.
Demonstrators in Dawei marched against the coup and security forces targeted a group that broke from the march to pay respects to a man who was killed during Sunday protests, the AP reported. Officials broke up demonstrations in Mandalay where live rounds were used to respond to protests Sunday. (RELATED: Protesters Return To Demonstrate Against Military Coup Day After 18 People Were Killed By Officials In Myanmar)
Some officials worry that the security officials are increasing their use of force to instigate a violent reaction from the protesters who have remained mostly peaceful, the AP reported. Over 1,000 people were detained during weekend demonstrations including at least eight journalists.
The military coup began on Feb. 1 and will reportedly last a year until new elections are held, the AP reported. Several government officials were detained and taken to an unknown location.
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