Myanmar coup: The 'fallen stars' from the deadliest day

·3 min read

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.

Volunteer medic Aung Zin Phyo is seen in an undated photo
Aung Zin Phyo was part of Myanmar's Covid-19 response

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.

Toys flowers and drawings are seen in Aye Myat Thu's coffin
Toys flowers and drawings are seen in Aye Myat Thu's coffin

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.

Family members and relatives attend the funeral ceremony of 13 year-old Sai Wai Yan
A funeral for Sai Wai Yan was held on Sunday

Also in Yangon, residents said 19-year-old Hti San Wan Phi was killed when a bullet hit him in the cheek, while he was at the protesters' defensive line.

Neighbours described him as having a big smile, according to Reuters. His parents told their friends not to cry, saying "my son is a martyr".

Violence continued in the country on Sunday.

Reports said 37-year-old women's rights activist Ma Ah Khu was shot in the chest in the western town of Kale. She was the director of civil society group Women For Justice.

The Women's League of Burma described her as "a woman with a dedicated spirit and hopeful mind".

"We salute her courage, her commitment and her cause," it said.

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