Myanmar envoy to UK ‘locked out of embassy’
11 killed as Myanmar protesters ‘fight soldiers with rifles’
LONDON, Apr 8: Britain on Thursday condemned "bullying" by the Myanmar junta after the country's ambassador to London was ousted in an extraordinary diplomatic coup after calling for the release of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Diplomats loyal to the Myanmar military authorities seized control of the embassy on Wednesday, leaving ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn locked out in the street. The ambassador said the defence attache had taken over the mission in "a kind of coup", two months after the military seized power in Myanmar.
Daily protests demanding a return of democracy have rocked the country and brought a brutal response from the armed forces, with almost 600 civilians killed according to a local monitoring group. The coup prompted several high-profile diplomatic defections, including the country's ambassador to the United Nations.
The junta recalled Kyaw Zwar Minn last month after he issued a statement urging them to release Suu Kyi and deposed civilian President Win Myint. British foreign minister Dominic Raab tweeted his support for the ambassador, who spent the night in his car outside the embassy.
Anti-coup demonstrators in Myanmar fought back with handmade guns and firebombs against a crackdown by security forces in a town in the northwest but at least 11 of the protesters were killed, domestic media reported on Thursday.
Initially, six truckloads of troops were deployed to quell protesters in the town of Taze, the Myanmar Now and Irrawaddy news outlets said. When the protesters fought back with handmade guns, knives and firebombs, five more truckloads of troops were brought in. That would take the toll of civilians killed by security forces to over 600. -REUTERS