A day after at least 18 protesters were killed when security forces confronted peaceful demonstrators in Myanmar, the United States has said it is preparing new measures against those responsible for the violence.
“We will continue coordinating closely with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world to hold those responsible for violence to account, and to reinforce our support for the people of Burma [Myanmar]. To that end, we are preparing additional actions to impose further costs on those responsible for this latest outbreak of violence and the recent coup,” said US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday. Crowds of demonstrators came under fire in various parts of the biggest city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas and shots in the air failed to break up their protests. Across the country, protesters wearing plastic work helmets and with makeshift shields faced off against police and soldiers in battle gear, including some from units notorious for tough crackdowns on ethnic rebel groups in Myanmar’s border regions.
Several wounded people were hauled away in Yangon by fellow protesters, leaving bloody smears on pavements, media images showed. Myanmar has been in chaos since the army seized power and detained elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership on Feb. 1, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.