At least two anti-coup protesters were killed and dozens of people were injured by riot police in Myanmar in what was the bloodiest day since the military Feb. 1 military takeover of the government.

Iran press/ Asia: The deaths, in the country’s second-largest city Mandalay, mark the bloodiest day in more than two weeks of increasingly fraught protests as a civil disobedience movement grows.

One of the victims was shot in the head and died at the scene, according to Frontier Myanmar. The other, identified by relatives as Thet Naing Win, a 36-year-old carpenter, was shot in the chest and died en route to the hospital.

"Twenty people were injured and two are dead," Ko Aung, a leader of the Parahita Darhi volunteer emergency service, tells Reuters. Another volunteer tells AFP that 30 people were injured and “half of the injured were shot with live rounds." One of the dead was shot in the head and died at the scene while another, identified as a 36-year-old carpenter, was shot in the chest and died on the way to the hospital.

The shootings took place near Mandalay’s Yadanabon dock, where police had used tear gas and rubber bullets earlier in the day to disperse protesters. Around 500 police officers and soldiers took part in efforts to disperse striking dock workers who had joined a national disobedience movement that aims to stop work until the military junta that took power restores the democratically elected government.

Banging pots and pans in what has become a signature gesture of defiance, protesters started yelling at the police to leave and some fired catapults. But police opened fire with live rounds, rubber bullets, and slingshot balls, forcing the protesters to flee.

The killings Saturday came a day after a young woman who was shot in the head during protests last week died. Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, 20, was the first confirmed death in the protests that were spurred by the military coup that included the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi and others. The use of live rounds in Mandalay illustrates how security forces have been relatively restrained in the capital of Yangon but appeared to be toughening their stance in areas where there is less media presence.

Much of the country has been in an uproar since the ruling party leader Aung San Suu Kyi was deposed, with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets to protest against the junta.

Authorities have arrested hundreds of people, many of them civil servants who have also been boycotting work as part of a civil disobedience campaign.