Myanmar security forces opened fire on some of the biggest protests against military rule in days on Sunday killing eight people, media reported, three months after a coup plunged the country into crisis.
The protests, after a spell of dwindling crowds and what appeared to be more restraint by the security forces, were coordinated with demonstrations in Myanmar communities around the world to mark what organisers called “the global Myanmar spring revolution”.
“Shake the world with the voice of Myanmar people’s unity,” the organisers said in a statement.
Streams of demonstrators, some led by Buddhist monks, made their way through cities and towns across the country, including the commercial hub of Yangon and the second city of Mandalay, where two people were shot and killed, the Mizzima news agency reported.
The Irrawaddy news site earlier posted a photograph of a man it said was a security officer in plain clothes taking aim with a rifle in Mandalay.
Three people were killed in the central town of Wetlet, the Myanmar Now news agency said, and two were killed in different towns in Shan State in the northeast, two media outlets reported.
One person was also killed in the northern jade-mining town of Hpakant, the Kachin News Group reported.
Reuters could not verify the reports and a spokesman for the ruling junta did not answer calls seeking comment.
The protests are only one of the problems the generals have brought on with their February 1 ouster of the elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.