As many as 10 villagers have been injured by police who fired rubber bullets at them on Friday for blocking a roadway to a controversial Chinese-run copper mine in the town of Letpadaung in Sarlingyi township of northwestern Myanmar’s Sagaing region.
Locals routinely block the road in protest against Wanbao Mining Copper Ltd., demanding that the Chinese mine operator give them acres of land they were supposed to receive as compensation for damage from the construction of the project to the villagers’ crops and to their economic well-being.
On Friday the villagers confronted police in the area and were told to disperse, but refused to do so, said Myint Naing, chief minister of Sagaing region.
“They refused to leave, so security personnel shot into the air a few times to scare them,” he said. “After the shots rang out, more villagers in the area came to the scene and finally police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse them.”
“I heard from police commanders that five or six villagers were wounded,” he said.
Villagers posted on social media that at least 10 people were injured, however.
Friday’s incident was not the first time guns have been fired at Letpadaung.
Full story: rfa.org
Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.
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