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Myanmar coup: At least two killed as police disperse protesters

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Security forces have grown increasingly aggressive against the protesters, who have clashed with Myanmar security forces since the military detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other high-ranking officials of the civilian government almost three weeks ago.

A young woman protester became the first death among anti-coup demonstrators on Friday. The military has blamed protesters for instigating violence.

Facebook on Sunday took down the main page of the Myanmar military for violating its standards against inciting violence, as the first protester to die following the military coup was laid to rest.

Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun, who is also the spokesman for the new military council, has not responded to attempts by Reuters to contact him by telephone for comment.

The confrontation began when security forces in Mandalay, the country's second-largest city and cultural capital, attempted to raid a shipyard and detain port staff on strike to protest the army takeover.

Security forces dispersed the crowd with gunfire and other forms of force, leaving two dead and 20 others injured, according to the Irrawaddy news website and a leader of the Parahita Darhi volunteer emergency service agency, Ko Aung.

Video clips on social media showed members of the security forces firing and witnesses said they found the spent cartridges of live rounds and rubber bullets.

After the fatal attacks, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights situation Myanmar, Tom Andrews, wrote on Twitter that the soldiers reportedly involved in the lethal Mandalay crackdown were from the 33rd Light Infantry Division-the same division responsible for mass atrocity crimes against the Rohingya in 2017. "This madness must end, now!"

She was shot in the head on 9 February in the capital, Naypyitaw.

"The sadness from her death is one thing, but we've also got courage to continue for her sake", said student protester Khin Maw Maw Oo in Naypyitaw.

Protesters are demanding that she be released, along with other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. The junta claims that elections held in November - which Ms Suu Kyi's party won by a landslide - were tainted by voting irregularities.

On Sunday, Facebook announced it had deleted the page of the Myanmar military, which is known as the Tatmadaw.

Another live broadcast on Facebook showed the wife of actor Lu Min describing to neighbors how her husband was arrested and taken away from their home shortly after midnight.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group says 569 people have been detained in connection with the coup. He was one of six high-profile people in the entertainment industry charged last week with inciting civil servants to stop work and join the protest movement, which he and the others have publicly championed.

Josep Borrell, EU Minister for Foreign Affairs, wrote on Twitter, "I urge the military and all the security forces in Myanmar to immediately stop violence against civilians".

Western countries that earlier condemned the coup spoke out against the violence.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price offered his government's condolences on Friday and reiterated calls on the military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters.

He said the United Kingdom will consider the further action with other worldwide partners against the military regime, which is "crushing democracy and choking dissent".

On February 16 Suu Kyi's lawyer says the regime had hit her with a second charge, this time under the country's natural disaster management law.

New measures are also being taken to stop United Kingdom businesses working with Myanmar's military.

Britain sanctions three Myanmar generals on February 18 for post-coup rights violations, as Canada takes similar measures.

About 1,000 people in cars and bikes gathered Sunday morning at the hospital where her body was held amid tight security, with even the victim's grandparents who had traveled from Yangon, five hours away, denied entry.

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