Myanmar Military Massacre Leaves At Least 50 Dead

Myanmar Military Massacre Leaves At Least 50 Dead. image: Myanmar Now

Myanmar Military Massacre Leaves At Least 50 Dead.

Myanmar’s security forces shot and killed at least 50 protesters today, Saturday, March news reports and witnesses said, a brutal crackdown on dissent that came as the leader of the ruling junta said the military will protect the people and strive for democracy.

Protesters who are against the forced military coup came out on the streets of Yangon, Mandalay and other towns, defying warnings that they could be shot “in the head and back”, while the country’s generals celebrated Armed Forces Day.

“Today is a day of shame for the armed forces,” Dr. Sasa, a spokesman for CRPH, an anti-junta group set up by deposed lawmakers, told an online forum.

“The military generals are celebrating Armed Forces Day after they just killed more than 300 innocent civilians,” he said, giving a rough estimate of the toll since protests first erupted weeks ago.

At least four people were killed when security forces opened fire at a crowd protesting outside a police station in Yangon’s Dala suburb in the early hours of Saturday, Myanmar Now reported. At least 10 people were wounded, the news portal said.

Three people, including a young man who plays in a local under-21 football team, were shot and killed in a protest in the Insein district of the city, according to media reports.

Thirteen people were killed in various incidents in Mandalay, Myanmar Now said. Deaths were also reported from the Sagaing region near Mandalay, Lashio town in the east, in the Bago region, near Yangon, and elsewhere, it said.

‘Myanmar Now’ said a total of at least 50 people have so far been killed on Saturday.

After presiding over a military parade in the capital Naypyitaw to mark Armed Forces Day, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing reiterated a promise to hold elections, without giving any time-frame.

“The army seeks to join hands with the entire nation to safeguard democracy,” the general said in a live broadcast on state television, adding that authorities also sought to protect the people and restore peace across the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s most popular civilian politician, remains in detention at an undisclosed location. Many other figures in her party are also being held in custody.

In a week that saw international pressure on the junta ramped up with the new US and European sanctions, Russia’s deputy defence minister Alexander Fomin attended the parade in Naypyitaw, having to meet senior junta leaders a day earlier.

“Russia is a true friend,” Min Aung Hlaing said. There were no signs of other diplomats at an event that is usually attended by scores of officials from foreign nations.

Protesters have taken to the streets almost daily since the coup that derailed Myanmar’s slow transition to democracy.


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Tony Winterburn

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