Speaking at the end of his general audience on March 3, Pope Francis lamented the deaths of protesters following a military coup in the Southeast Asian country on Feb. 1.
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At least 18 protesters were killed and 30 people were wounded on Sunday when police fired live rounds and used non-lethal force against the crowds, according to the UN’s human rights office.
Reports on Sunday said that some protesters in Mandalay threw projectiles at police, who responded with live fire and tear gas.
In a Feb. 3 statement, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon asked the military to release “the voice of our people” Aung San Suu Kyi, and called the coup “shocking.”