Thousands of people came out in Myanmar on Sunday after overnight arrests of leaders of anti-coup protesters by the army in the main city Yangon.
Police were seen firing tear gas and stun grenades in Lashio town in the northern Shan region in a video posted on Facebook.
In the historic temple town of Bagan, police fired at the protesters. However, it was not clear whether they were using rubber bullets or live ammunition.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Protests were also held in half a dozen other cities.
The biggest turnout was in Myanmar’s second city, Mandalay, where activists staged a sit-in protest after two minutes of silence in honor of people killed by police and the army.
Protests were also held in at least three places in Yangon, where residents said soldiers and police moved into several districts overnight, firing shots. They arrested at least three anti-coup activists in Kyauktada Township, residents said. They did not know the reason for the arrests.
It is reported that an actor his son were arrested. His daughter shouted and screamed but the forces did not answer where they are going to take them.
A Facebook post said that army troops went to a lawyer’s house but failed to arrest him as he was out then. The lawyer has been working for ruling National League for Democracy party.
Meanwhile, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners advocacy group said more than 1,700 people have been arrested by the military junta by Saturday. It did not, however, give a figure for overnight detentions.
It said in a statement that the detainees were brutally beaten by troops and police and then dragged into vehicles. Forces fired in residential areas, entered residences to arrest suspected anti-coup activists and destroyed many homes.
Meanwhile, authorities exhumed the body of 19-year-old Kyal Sin, who has become an icon of the protest movement after she was shot dead in Mandalay on Wednesday wearing a T-shirt that read “Everything will be OK”.
State-run MRTV said autopsy on the body revealed that she was not killed by the bullet fired by police. She had a mark at the back of her head while police were in front.
The opponents to the February 1 military coup rejected the authorities’ claim as an attempt to cover up.
The world has been condemning military coup and the United States and some other Western countries have imposed limited sanctions on the junta.
Israeli-Canadian lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe, hired by Myanmar’s junta, said the generals are keen to leave politics and seek to improve relations with the United States and distance themselves from China.
He said Suu Kyi had grown too close to China.
He said he had also been tasked with seeking Arab support for a plan to repatriate Rohingya refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom were driven out in 2017 in an army crackdown after rebel attacks.