la resistencia civil birmana se arma

Armed resistance rises in Myanmar

As the nation’s military continues its deadly assault on unarmed civilians each day, some protesters say there is no choice but to fight on the army’s own bloody terms.

Groups of students, activists and office workers have mobilized with weapons into a kind of guerrilla force, meeting in forests to train in basic warfare techniques and plotting to sabotage military-linked facilities.

The boldness and desperation are a response to the military’s ruthless crackdown, with 275 people killed since the Feb. 1 coup. Security forces have fired at bystanders and ambulances and have tortured detainees. Dozens of young protesters have been killed by single gunshots to the head.

How it looks: Frontline fighters have piled up sandbags and built bamboo barricades, which they defend with homemade firebombs. In some cases, they have the backing of ethnic insurgencies that have been targeted for years by the Tatmadaw, as the military is known.

Quotable: “We have to attack them back,” said a woman from the city of Yangon who was in the forest for a week of boot camp. “This sounds aggressive, but I believe we have to defend ourselves.”

25-III-21, nytimes