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Police officers who fled Myanmar said they defied military's orders to kill protesters

Myanmar police
Posted at 7:12 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 09:19:59-04

MIZORAM, India — Several Myanmar police officers say they fled to India after defying army orders to shoot opponents of last month's coup in their country.

“We cannot hurt our people, that’s why we came," one officer told the Associated Press.

Indian villagers in Mizoram state have given shelter to 34 police personnel and one firefighter. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fears of retribution against family members still in Myanmar.

Estimates say over 100 people from Myanmar have entered India, but officials haven't disclosed any official totals.

Myanmar wants India to return the police officers. India’s Home Ministry has told four of its border states to prevent refugees from entering India except on humanitarian grounds.

Myanmar has seen several weeks of civil unrest following a coup d'état by the country's military earlier this year. Pro-democracy protests by citizens have been met with increasing violence by military officials in recent days.