In the midst of intense fear in Myanmar as a fall out of deadly crackdown on anti-coup demonstrators, people in the country have continued to gather in several cities on Thursday, taking precautions to protect themselves from an increasingly brutal military junta.
Yesterday, Wednesday marked the blood-spattered day in the Myanmar since the military’s February. 1 power grab, with at least 38 people killed when security forces opened fire on demonstrators in various areas.
Citizens, cautious of more aggression by authorities yet undeterred, were seen taking a different approach, gathering in neighborhoods instead of main protest sites.
In Yangon where at least 22 people were killed by security forces on Wednesday, major roads and streets were blocked with makeshift barricades and sandbags to keep security forces at bay.
Khin Zaw Win, director of Yangon-based think tank Tamadipa Institute, said troops “acted like they were in a battlefield” while confronting protesters in Yangon.
“Police personnel and soldiers did not follow any standard operating procedures. They shot people indiscriminately. At some point, they even broke into and looted shops and houses,” he told Anadolu Agency over the phone.
Hundreds of people were also reportedly arrested in Yangon, including four volunteer rescue workers who were helping injured protesters in North Okalapa.
“It would be a killing field if we are together in large crowds. Instead, we are gathering in our own areas; this means the junta will have to deploy troops across the city,” said a protester in Ahlone township.
Demonstrations are also taking place in other parts of the country, including Mandalay and Monywa, where several people died in Wednesday’s violence.
More than 100,000 people were part of demonstrations on Thursday, according to local news outlet Monywa Gazette.