Code: 1041713 A

Opponents of Myanmar’s Feb. 1 military gathered again on Sunday, undeterred by the bloodiest day of their campaign the previous day when police and soldiers opened fire in the second city of Mandalay, killing two.

Early on Sunday, police arrested a famous actor wanted for supporting opposition to the coup, his wife said, while Facebook deleted the military’s main page under its standards prohibiting the incitement of violence.

The military has been unable to quell the demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes against the coup and the detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others, even with a promise of a new election, arrests and warnings against dissent.

In the main city of Yangon, several thousand young protesters gathered near the city’s main university campus to chant slogans, while hundreds massed peacefully in Mandalay, footage shown by a media outlet showed.

People also marched in the central towns of Monywa and Bagan and the southern towns of Dawei and Myeik.

 “The number of people will increase today and we won’t stop. We’ll continue to our goal of democracy,” said Yin Nyein Hmway at the Yangon protest.

The more than two weeks of protests had been largely peaceful, unlike previous episodes of opposition during nearly half a century of direct military rule, which ended in 2011.

Members of ethnic minorities, poets, rappers and transport workers marched peacefully on Saturday in various places, but tension escalated quickly in Mandalay where police and soldiers confronted striking shipyard workers.

Some of the demonstrators fired catapults at police as they played cat and mouse through riverside streets. Police responded with tear gas and gunfire at the protesters, witnesses said.

Video clips posed on social media also showed members of the security forces firing and witnesses said they found the cartridges of live rounds and rubber bullets on the ground.

Two people were shot and killed and 20 were wounded, said Ko Aung, a leader of a volunteer emergency service.

Police were not available for comment but the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper accused the strikers of sabotaging vessels and attacking police with sticks, knives and catapults.

Eight policemen and several soldiers were injured, it said.

The newspaper did not mention the two deaths but said: “Some of the aggressive protesters were also injured due to the security measures conducted by the security force.”

A young woman protester became the first death among anti-coup demonstrators on Friday. She was shot in the head on Feb. 9 in the capital, Naypyitaw.

The army says one policeman has died of injuries sustained in a protest.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) condemned the violence in Mandalay as a crime against humanity.

The army seized power after alleging fraud in Nov. 8 elections that the NLD swept, detaining Suu Kyi and others. The electoral commission had dismissed the fraud complaints.

Facebook said it deleted the military’s main page, the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page, for repeated violations of its standards “prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm”.

The Myanmar military is known as the Tatmadaw.


Aung San Suu Kyi Myanmar protesters
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