Myanmar coup: The ‘fallen stars’ from the deadliest day

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Myanmar’s deadliest day since the military seized control has left people across the country in mourning.

More than 100 people were killed by security forces on Saturday, including children. Some were killed at protests, others in their own homes.

Opponents of the 1 February coup call the dead “fallen stars”.

Among them was 40-year-old Aye Ko.

The father of four lived in the city of Mandalay, where residents said he sold coconut snacks and rice jelly drinks, and was a neighbourhood watch member.

Multiple reports said he was shot and wounded when soldiers raided the area. They then dragged him on to a stack of burning car tyres, which had been set up by protesters as a barricade.

“He was shouting, ‘help me, Mother’,” a local resident told news site Myanmar Now.

Loved ones held a service on Sunday to commemorate his life. A relative described his death as a “great loss”.

“He was the only one who fed the family,” the relative told AFP.

Elsewhere in Mandalay, people were mourning the loss of 18-year-old Aung Zin Phyo.

He was the goalkeeper of the Lin Latt Futsal Club and had volunteered to help at an intensive care centre during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Reuters news agency.

His family told reporters he was in the front line of protesters when he was shot dead by security forces on Saturday.

“I have only this son… Let me die so that I can be together with my son,” his mother said, as she wept beside his coffin.

Several children were among those killed.

Eleven-year-old Aye Myat Thu was laid in a coffin alongside toys, flowers and a drawing of Hello Kitty. Local media said she was shot dead during a crackdown on protests in the south-eastern city of Mawlamyine.

In the central city of Meiktila, 14-year-old Pan Ei Phyu’s mother told BBC Burmese she rushed to close all the doors when she heard the military coming down her street. But she was not fast enough.

“I saw her collapse and initially thought she just slipped and fell. But then blood spurted out from her chest,” she said.

In the country’s biggest city, Yangon, 13-year-old Sai Wai Yan was playing outside when he was shot and killed, according to multiple reports. His family grieved next to his coffin on Sunday.

“How can I live without you my son?” his mother cried.

Agencies

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