Tragedy as T-shirt photo goes viral

A haunting picture of a teenager’s final moments has gone viral as violence continues to tear apart the nation of Myanmar.

A teenager who wore a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Everything will be OK” to an anti-coup protest in Myanmar died after being shot in the head in the street on Wednesday.

The South-East Asian nation, previously known as Burma, was plunged into a state of chaos on February 1 when the military deposed the democratically elected government and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Since then, citizens have taken to the streets for a series of violent, mass protests against the coup.

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But while the chaos has been a regular occurrence for weeks now, Wednesday marked the “bloodiest day” so far, with at least 38 protesters killed and scores more injured after authorities opened fire on crowds.

Among the fatalities was Angel, also known as Kyal Sin, a 19-year-old dancer who has become the face of the ongoing tragedy.

The teen participated in a protest in Mandalay yesterday wearing a T-shirt bearing the words “Everything will be OK”.

Angel was photographed at the scene, and in one picture she can be seen lying on the ground in an attempt to take cover.

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But sadly, Angel was among the fatalities, after she was shot during yesterday’s unrest.

The horrifying photograph has been shared on social media in an act of defiance against the coup, as has a video of the teen chanting “We won’t run” and “Blood must not be shed” before her death.

A second teenager also died in yesterday’s bloodshed.

“Today was the bloodiest day since the coup happened,” the UN’s envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener told the media yesterday, adding that many more had been injured and that more than 50 had died since February 1 in total.

Medic Aye Nyein Thu told Al Jazeera she had assisted with 10 emergency cases since March 1.

“Most (victims) had head injuries because police are using batons to beat protesters. Some people were shot as well,” she said.

“We are facing the most terrible situation.”

UNITED STATES REACTS

The United States was “appalled and revulsed” by the violence, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

He told reporters: “We call on all countries to speak with one voice to condemn the brutal violence by the Burmese military against its own people.”

He singled out China, a frequent US adversary that Myanmar’s military has historically considered its main ally.

“China does have influence in the region. It does have influence with the military junta.

“We have called upon the Chinese to use that influence in a constructive way, in a way that advances the interests of the people of Burma,” Mr Price said, using another name for Myanmar.

And he said the United States, which has imposed sanctions on junta leaders, was looking at further actions.

International pressure is mounting: Western powers have repeatedly hit the generals with sanctions, Britain has called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday, and after Wednesday’s deaths, the United States said it was considering further action.

But the junta has so far ignored the global condemnation, responding to the uprising with escalating strength.

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