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At least seven people were killed and 12 injured in Rakhine State’s Mrauk-U Township when police cracked down on a gathering Tuesday to protest authorities’ decision to block a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the Arakan kingdom’s demise.
Speaking to DVB, Colonel Aung Myat Moe, who is chief of police in Rakhine State, confirmed the casualty count in the incident at Mrauk-U, the ancient capital of the Arakan kingdom.
Khaing Moe, who witnessed the crackdown on Tuesday evening, told DVB he later went to Mrauk-U General Hospital, where most of the victims were taken.
“More than 10 people were injured. Some were seriously injured. I saw that one of the protesters died from a gunshot wound in his waist. The police cracked down on the protesters using firearms,” he said.
Several thousand people had marched to the township administrator’s office protesting a decision by local authorities to prohibit a commemoration ceremony of the 233rd anniversary of the fall of the Arakan kingdom.
The Mrauk-U police station said local authorities ordered the protesters to disperse, but they did not comply and threw stones instead. Police fired warning shots to clear the protesters before, apparently, training their guns on the crowd.
Grisly photos and video purportedly of the dead and wounded have circulated online in the aftermath of the crackdown. DVB could not independently verify their authenticity.