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At least 39 killed in Myanmar as Chinese factories burn: Report

At least 39 killed in Myanmar as Chinese factories burn: Report
Protesters carry an injured man as riot policemen and soldiers shot with rubber bullets to crackdown a demonstration on March 14.
YANGON, MAR 14 (REUTERS) | Publish Date: 3/14/2021 1:21:55 PM IST

Security forces killed at least 22 anti-coup protesters in the poor, industrial Hlaingthaya suburb of Myanmar’s main city on Sunday after Chinese-financed factories were set ablaze there, an advocacy group said.

A further 16 protesters were killed in other places, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said, as well as one policeman, making it the bloodiest day since the February 1 coup against elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Chinese embassy said many Chinese staff were injured and trapped in arson attacks by unidentified assailants on garment factories in Hlaingthaya and that it had called on Myanmar to protect Chinese property and citizens. China is viewed as being supportive of the military junta that has taken power.

China’s embassy described the situation as “very severe” after the attacks on the Chinese-financed factories. No group claimed responsibility for burning the factories.

As plumes of smoke rose from the industrial area, security forces opened fire on protesters in the suburb that is home to migrants from across the country, local media said. “It was horrible. People were shot before my eyes. It will never leave my memory,” said one photojournalist on the scene who did not want to be named.

Army-run Myawadday television said security forces acted after four garment factories and a fertiliser plant were set ablaze and about 2,000 people had stopped fire engines from reaching them.

 

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