Myanmar coup supporters attack rival in Yangon



Some armed with knives and clubs, others firing slingshot and throwing stones, supporters of Myanmar’s military attacked opponents of the coup in downtown Yangon on Thursday, reports Reuters.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power on Feb 1 and detained civilian government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership after the military complained of fraud in a November election.

There have been about three weeks of daily protests and strikes and students planned to come out again in the commercial hub of Yangon on Thursday.

But before many opponents of the coup gathered, about 1,000 supporters of the military turned up for a rally in central Yangon.

Some of them threatened news photographers, media workers, and scuffles soon escalated into more serious violence in several parts of the city centre.

Some military supporters were photographed with clubs and knives. Some threw stones and fired catapults, witnesses said, and several people were beaten by groups of men.

Video footage showed several apparent supporters of the military, one wielding a knife, attacking a man outside a city-centre hotel.

A rights group said as of Wednesday 728 people had been arrested, charged or sentenced in relation to the pro-democracy protests.

The army stepped in to oust the government saying military complaints of fraud in a Nov. 8 election, swept by Suu Kyi’s party as expected, had been ignored.

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