Woman shot during protest against Myanmar coup dies

Full Screen
1 / 13

Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a painting of letters that reads, "WE WANT DEMOCRACY," on a street in Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.(Maxar Technologies via AP)

YANGON – A young woman who was shot in the head by police last week during a protest against the military coup in Myanmar died Friday, her family said.

It was the first confirmed death among thousands of protesters who have faced off against security forces since the junta took power on Feb. 1, detained the country's elected leaders and prevented Parliament from convening.

Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was shot during a demonstration in the capital, Naypyitaw, on Feb. 9, two days before her 20th birthday. Video showed her sheltering from water cannons and suddenly dropping to the ground after a bullet penetrated the motorcycle helmet she was wearing. She had been on life support in a hospital with what doctors said was no chance of recovery.

Her sister, speaking from the hospital's mortuary, urged people not to give up their struggle to restore democracy.

“Please participate and continue fighting until we achieve our goal,” said Mya Thatoe Nwe. She said the funeral will be held Sunday.

Protesters in Mandalay, the country’s second biggest city, set up a sidewalk shrine with candles and photos of the dead woman. About 200 people paid their respects at a memorial ceremony at sunset at the site of a police dispersal of demonstrators with water cannons last week.

(asterisk)Please help, whoever can help,” cried Khin Wai, who was attending the service. “Please don’t hurt other citizens. I am worried, so worried.″

Even before her death, Mya Thwet Thwet Khine had already been hailed as a hero in small ceremonies at several demonstrations. News of her passing is likely to inflame passions in the protest movement, which has embraced nonviolent civil disobedience.