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Shots Fired at American Center in Myanmar, U.S. Embassy Reports

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The U.S. Embassy in Burma – also known as Myanmar – has confirmed that shots were fired at an American Center in the city of Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon. The embassy made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday morning.

“The U.S. Embassy confirms that shots were fired at American Center Yangon on March 27. There were no injuries. We are investigating the incident,” the embassy said.

There were no further details about the incident at the time of writing. The American Center was opened in March 2018, according to a report from the Myanmar Times. Yangon is the largest city in the country and the former capital.

The U.S. embassy said at the time that the center “represents the largest single financial commitment” by the U.S. government in any American center in the world. It is located at the corner of the city’s Inya Road and University Avenue.

The center boasted a state-of-the-art library featuring 12,000 books in 2018 and a computer lab offering resources to help with English-language teaching and other forms of training.

The U.S. Embassy confirms that shots were fired at American Center Yangon on March 27. There were no injuries. We are investigating the incident.

— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) March 27, 2021

The incident comes on the same day as reports that the Myanmar military killed at least 60 civilian protesters, according to the BBC. There is no indication at this time that shots fired at the American Center are connected to this event.

The U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar, Thomas Vajda, condemned the violence against civilians in a statement shared by the embassy’s Twitter account shortly after they confirmed events at the American Center.

“On Myanmar’s Armed Forces Day, security forces are murdering unarmed civilians, including children, the very people they swore to protect,” Vajda said. “This bloodshed is horrifying. These are not the actions of a professional military or police force.”

The United Nations (UN) in Myanmar also condemned the actions of the military.

In a statement it said it was “horrified by the needless loss,” calling it the “bloodiest day since the coup.”

“The violence is completely unacceptable and must stop immediately. Those responsible must be held to account. As the Special Envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener has said, ensuring peace and defending the people should be the responsibility of any military, but the Tatmadaw has turned against its own people.”

Tatmadaw is the official name of the armed forces of Myanmar.

Myanmar experienced a recent military coup following brief democratic reforms in the country. Nobel Prize-winning leader and longtime opponent of the military regime, Aung San Suu Kyi, was one of the politicians detained as a result of the coup.

Min Aung Hlaing, leader of the military, delivered televised address on Saturday for Armed Forces Day in which he promised elections but did not present a timetable. If the figures for today’s deaths are accurate, it will bring the total number of people killed in the military’s crackdown on protests since the coup to 400.

This is a breaking news story and may be updated.

Smoke rises over Tamwe township in Yangon on March 27, 2021, as security forces continue their crackdown on protests against the military coup. Shots were fired Saturday at the city’s American Center.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

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