© Reuters. Protesters wave with three fingers during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon
(Reuters) – Myanmar police threw stun grenades and fired into the air on Sunday to disperse opponents of the military government, underpinning a radical crackdown launched the day before when security forces arrested hundreds of people in the city and cities across the country. The action to end the protests came after state television announced that Myanmar’s UN envoy had been fired for betraying the country after he urged the United Nations to use “all necessary means” to reverse the attack. coup on February 1 that overthrew elected leader Aung San Suu. Kyi. Myanmar was thrown into chaos when the army seized power and detained Suu Kyi and much of her party’s leaders, citing fraud in the November elections that her party overwhelmingly won. The coup, which halted Myanmar’s progress toward democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets and prompted condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions. Police took to the streets again in force at a main protest site in Yangon city early Sunday when hundreds of protesters, many dressed in protective gear, began to gather, an eyewitness said. The police acted quickly to disband the groups. “The police threw stun grenades at us,” said 29-year-old protester Myint Myat. “We had to run and hide, but I will go out again because today is very important. If we all go out, they cannot win.” Mandalay Second City Police fired into the air, trapping medical staff protesting at a city hospital, a doctor there said by phone. Police and a spokesman for the ruling military council were not available for comment. Saturday brought unrest in towns and cities across the country as police acted with force to crush the protests, firing tear gas, stun grenades and shots into the air. Uniformed police officers and plainclothes security men attacked some people with clubs, witnesses said. A woman was shot and injured in the central town of Monwya, 7Day News and an emergency worker said. 7Day and two other media organizations had previously reported that she was killed. The leader of the junta, General Min Aung Hlaing, has said that the authorities have been using minimal force. However, at least three protesters have died during the days of unrest. The army said a policeman was killed in the riots. State television MRTV said more than 470 people had been arrested in total. He said police had given warnings before using stun grenades to disperse people. Several journalists were among those detained, their media organizations and colleagues said. ‘INSTIL FEAR’ Youth activist Esther Ze Naw said that people were struggling to overcome the fear of the military that they had lived with for so long. “This fear will only grow if we continue to live with it and the people who are creating the fear know it. It is obvious that they are trying to instill fear in us by making us run and hide,” he said. “We cannot accept that.” Saturday’s violence came after Myanmar’s Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun told the UN General Assembly that he was speaking on behalf of the Suu Kyi government and called for help to end the coup. MRTV television said he had been fired according to civil service rules because he had “betrayed the country” and “abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador.” However, the United Nations has not officially recognized the junta as the new government of Myanmar. The ambassador promised to keep fighting. “I decided to fight as much as I could,” Kyaw Moe Tun told Reuters in New York. UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said he was overwhelmed by the ambassador’s “act of courage”, adding on Twitter: “It is time for the world to respond to that courageous call with action.” Myanmar generals have traditionally ignored diplomatic pressure. They promised to hold new elections, but did not set a date. The party and Suu Kyi’s supporters said the result of the November vote must be respected. Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during the military regime. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and violating a natural disaster law by violating coronavirus protocols. The next hearing in your case is scheduled for Monday.