Opponents of Myanmars coup took to the streets again to demand an end to military rule and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and others, a day after a protester died from gunshot wounds.
In Yangon, protesters carried a wreath and laid flowers at a memorial ceremony for Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, 20, who on Friday became the first fatality among opponents of the coup. She had been on life support since being taken to hospital after being hit by what doctors said was a live bullet.
Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing has become a symbol of resistance, with supporters carrying her photo in demonstrations.
We will regard you as our martyr, said one social media tribute to the young grocery store worker. We will bring justice for your loss.
A protester holds up a poster with a portrait of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who died from a gunshot wound after being shot in the head during a demonstration against the military coup. Photograph: Sai Aung Main/AFP/Getty Images
The United States said it was saddened by the protesters death and condemned the use of force against demonstrators, a State Department spokesman said.
We reiterate our calls on the Burmese military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters, spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.
We will work with partners and allies to press the Burmese military to reverse its actions.
The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has held talks with allied countries in recent days to press for a firm international response.
The US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have announced limited sanctions, with a focus on military leaders, including banning travel and freezing assets. Japan and India have joined western countries in calling for democracy to be restored quickly.
The junta has not reacted to the new sanctions. On Tuesday, an army spokesperson told a news conference that sanctions had been expected.
The country emerged from its sixth straight overnight internet curfew on Saturday, a measure imposed as neighbourhoods around the country began setting up watch groups to guard against evening arrests.
Internet monitor Netblocks reported that Wikipedia had been blocked, joining a list of banned content that includes Facebook and other social media services.
Several thousand protesters gathered in the northern town of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, where police and soldiers have in recent days used batons and rubber bullets to break up crowds.
Crowds marched again through the ancient capital of Bagan and in Pathein town, in the Irrawaddy river delta.
In the second city of Mandalay, writers and poets held a march and later railway workers also protested.P rotesters have been demanding the restoration of the elected government, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and others and the scrapping of a 2008 constitution, drawn up under military supervision, that gives the army a decisive role in politics.
Saturdays protests by minority groups were planned despite some misgivings about Aung San Suu Kyis commitment to their aspirations for autonomy, community representatives said. Aung San Suu Kyi has been widely criticised internationally for not condemning the militarys brutal suppression of the minority Rohingyas.
Ke Jung, a youth leader from the Naga minority and organiser of the Saturday protest in Yangon, said demonstrators were demanding a federal system.
We cant form a federal country under dictatorship. We cant accept the junta, he said.
Myanmar has experienced insurgencies by ethnic minority factions since shortly after its independence from Britain in 1948 and the army has long held itself to be the only institution capable of preserving national unity.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, like the top generals, is a member of the majority Burman community.
Ke Jung said some minority parties were not committed to the movement against the coup.
Its a reflection of how Aung San Suu Kyi failed to build alliances with ethnic political parties, he said.
However, we must win this fight. We stand together with the people. We will fight until the end of dictatorship.
Myanmars Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said 546 people had been detained, with 46 released, as of Friday.
Aung San Suu Kyi faces a charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law as well as charges of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios. Her next court appearance has been set for 1 March.
Agence France-Presse contributed to this report