No less than 5 people have been counted dead and several wounded as the Myanmar military on Wednesday fired at peaceful protesters, summing the death toll to 580 since the February 1 coup that ended a brief period of civilian-led democracy.
Dauntless Myanmar protesters have continuously kept on with their nationwide rallies and strikes despite the bloody crackdown and internet blockade by the ruling junta to quell the opposition.
Security forces opened fire on Wednesday on protesters in the northwestern town of Kale as they demanded the restoration of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government, a resident told Reuters.
As reported by News outlets, witnesses have said there were casualties and repeated gunfire.
However, the death toll is yet to be verified. This is as the mostly youth-led anti-coup movement’s ability to organise campaigns and share information via social media and instant messaging was cut off following restrictions on broadband wireless internet and mobile data services.
Fixed-line services, which few in Myanmar have access to, are available.
“Myanmar has been subject to a stepwise collapse into the information abyss since February,” Alp Toker, founder of internet blockage observatory NetBlocks told Reuters.
“Communications are now severely limited and available only to the few.”
With print media also halted, protesters have sought workarounds to get their message across, producing their own A4-sized daily news pamphlets that are shared digitally and printed for distribution among the public.
In its continuous suppression of the protests, the junta has issued arrests warrants for hundreds of people particularly, influencers, entertainers, artists and musicians.
The country’s most famous comedian, Zarganar, was arrested on Tuesday, media reported.