• Thursday, Aug 18, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Myanmar youths die while fleeing security forces

  • Published at 03:15 pm August 11th, 2021
Myanmar Anti-Coup Protest
Anti-coup protesters flash the three-finger salute during a flash mob protest in Yangon, Myanmar on June 3, 2021 Reuters

Security forces have killed at least 965 people in the more than six months since the coup, according an activist group

At least three people in Myanmar died and several were seriously injured after apparently jumping from an apartment building in the main city of Yangon in a bid to escape a raid by security forces, according to media reports.

Since the military overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February, the country has been thrown into crisis with almost daily protests and fighting between the army and hastily formed militias.

The incident on Tuesday occurred in the Botahtaung district of Yangon, the Myanmar Now news portal reported, citing residents.

The report, which showed a photograph of three people lying motionless on the ground in an alleyway, said that two other injured youths were later picked up by an ambulance.

The US-funded RFA (Radio Free Asia) said in a report posted on its Facebook page that all five involved in the incident - four men and a woman - had later died.

Tin Zaw, the father of one of the dead youths, said in an interview with RFA that his 27-year-old son had been arrested by security forces in February but had with his help been released.

He said his son had never been interested in politics before the coup, but since the military takeover had tried to resist the junta.

"There wasn't any big organisation behind him," said Tin Zaw, adding that he was proud of his son.

Soe Myat Thu, the husband of a 29-year-old woman who was also believed to be among the dead, told Reuters that he had not yet received her body.

"I feel really sad that my wife died. She left a daughter behind," he said by telephone.

Reuters could not independently confirm what happened and a spokesman for the military did not answer calls seeking comment. 

But reports of the incident have shocked many in a country that has become used to daily headlines about deaths and violence.

Memes about Tuesday's incident went viral on social media including one that showed five silhouettes of people jumping from a building into a field of bright yellow sunflowers.

Security forces have killed at least 965 people in the more than six months since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a Thai-based activist group, though the junta has denied the toll is that high and said that many soldiers have also been killed.