Around the same time, in Yangon, the nation’s largest city, security forces fired on a crowd in North Dagon township, striking Ko Chit Min Thu, a 25-year-old collector of recycled materials, in the head. He died almost immediately, his relatives and other protesters said.

Worried that security forces would seize the body — as has happened in recent days and in Mandalay on Thursday — other protesters carried Mr. Chit Min Thu away from the shooting zone.

By early afternoon, his body was back at home with mourners gathered around. A bandage obscured his fatal head wound. His widow, Ma Aye Chan Myint, keened, their two-year-old son by her side. She is pregnant, in her first trimester.

“Why didn’t they just shoot at the legs, why did they shoot at the head?” she asked. There was no answer.

Ms. Aye Chan Myint reached out to touch the feet and face of her husband, who went to protest each day with hopes that a surge of civilian strength could somehow dislodge the military from power.

“You said I should be proud,” she told her husband’s body. “I’m proud of you, my love.”

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