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US 'deeply concerned' by reports Myanmar security forces fired on protesters

The United States is "deeply concerned" by reports that Myanmar security forces have fired on protesters and continue to detain and harass demonstrators and others, United States State Department spokesman Ned Price said in tweet on Saturday, February 20.

"We stand with the people of Burma," Price tweeted. Myanmar is also known as Burma.

Two people were killed in Myanmar's second city Mandalay on Saturday when police and soldiers fired to disperse protests against a February 1 military coup, emergency workers said, the bloodiest day in more than two weeks of demonstrations.

The demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes and other disruptions show no sign of dying down. Opponents of the coup are skeptical of the army's promise to hold a new election and hand power to the winner.

The demonstrators are demanding the restoration of the elected government and the release of Myanmar civil leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others. They have also called for the scrapping of a 2008 constitution that has assured the army a major role in politics since nearly 50 years of direct military rule ended in 2011.

The army seized back power after alleging fraud in November 8 elections that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy swept, detaining her and others. The electoral commission had dismissed the fraud complaints.

Nevertheless, the army says its action is within the constitution and is supported by a majority of the people. The military has blamed protesters for instigating violence. – Rappler.com