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Myanmar Crisis

At least 2 protesters killed in Myanmar as police open fire

Estimated 20 wounded and 30 detained during anti-junta demonstrations

An injured man is carried by rescue workers after protests against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Feb. 20.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- At least two people were killed in Mandalay, Myanmar's second-largest city, on Saturday when police opened fire to disperse protests against the military coup, according to local media.

This brings the number of deaths among protesters to three, including a woman who died on Friday.

In Mandalay on Saturday, police opened fire and witnesses said at least 20 people were injured while 30 were detained. It was the bloodiest day since the armed forces seized power on Feb. 1.

Of the two dead, one protester was shot in the head, according to Reuters. The other was shot in the chest, the report said.

Security forces reportedly clashed with striking shipyard workers and other demonstrators. Some of the protesters fired slingshots and police responded with tear gas. Gunshots were fired, though it was initially unclear whether live ammunition or rubber bullets were used.

Demonstrators were already grieving over Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, a 20-year-old woman who died Friday of a shot to the head sustained at a protest in Naypyitaw on Feb. 9. She had been in critical condition, and on life support, for 10 days.

On Saturday, protests continued in Yangon, the country's largest city, while people mourned her death with wreaths and photographs. Some gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Yangon for a moment of silence.

"She was young and had a lot of opportunities, but now everything has been destroyed," one man said of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing. "The military is just [staying in power with] weapons, and it keeps threatening us."

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing's older sister said her funeral would be held on Sunday in Naypyitaw, the capital. "I really want the international community to help our country, rather than just watching," she said.

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