By Kyaw Ye Lynn
YANGON, Myanmar (AA) – At least 18 people were killed and dozens injured when the Myanmar security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters rallying against the Feb. 1 military coup in the country.
According to media reports and witnesses, at least 40 people were injured in Yangon's North Okalapa township after police and security forces opened a direct fire on the crowd amid a tense situation.
Local media reports, citing sources from the General Strike Committee in the township, say that the overall death toll could be between 18 and 22. Khit Thit media reported 11 deaths in North Okalapa alone.
According to a witness who spoke to Anadolu Agency, police shot protesters even after apprehending them.
"I was very shocked to see that an unarmed protester was shot by the police after he was unable to defend himself," he said on the phone.
Media reports say that the deaths in Yangon included a member of the local volunteer rescue team Mon Myat Seik Htar (MMSH). The footage in which four MMSH members were beaten by the police was shared on social media.
A leader of a volunteer group based in Yangon confirmed the arrest of an MMSH member while providing medical assistance to the injured protester in the North Okalapa township.
"The MMSH member was severely injured in the head after being beaten by the police. However, we do not have any further information about them,” she told Anadolu Agency on the phone.