A file image of Myanmar police in Rakhine State taken on Sept. 1, 2017. (Photo by STR/AFP)
At least eight ethnic Rakhine protestors were killed by police in Myanmar's volatile Rakhine State on Tuesday.
The shooting occurred in the town of Mrauk-U when protestors confronted police and attempted to destroy government property, reported RFA. A further 13 protestors are believed to be injured.
The protestors were a part of an earlier gathering of some 4,000 people marking a nationalist Buddhist anniversary.
Rakhine State government secretary Tin Maung Swe told RFA the incident occurred at the town's government office.
"The mob came into government office, tried to destroy property, and threw stones at the district administrator's house," Tin Maung Swe said.
"It was violence that hurt stability, and that's why the police had to shoot at them to get them to disperse," he said, adding that about 20 police were injured.
The killings have been condemned by Amnesty International, with James Gomez, the rights group's director for Southeast Asia, saying it is a clear case of excessive use of force.
"These shocking killings are yet another example of Myanmar security forces' contempt for human life," Gomez said. "Even if protesters were throwing stones and bricks, nothing can justify police apparently firing into a crowd of thousands."
Gomez has called for an independent investigation to be conducted into the killings.