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UN Human Rights Office says 18 dead in Myanmar crackdown

Protesters shout slogans as police arrive during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. Police in Myanmar escalated their crackdown on demonstrators against this month's military takeover, deploying early and in force on Saturday as protesters sought to assemble in the country's two biggest cities and elsewhere. (AP Photo)

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The U.N. Human Rights Office says it has received “credible information” that a crackdown Sunday on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar has left at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded.

“Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku,” it said in a statement, referring to several cities in Myanmar. “Tear gas was also reportedly used in various locations as well as flash-bang and stun grenades.”

“We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters,” its spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani was quoted saying.

It would be the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a Feb. 1 coup.

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