At least 38 people have been killed in the latest crackdown by security forces on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar, according to an advocacy group, as the military government declared martial law on two townships in the major city of the country, Yangon.
The death toll reported on Sunday by the Association for the Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP) matched that of March 3, which had previously recorded more deaths than on any other day since mass protests against the takeover began. military checkpoint of February 1 six weeks ago.
The AAPP said in a statement that a total of 126 people had been killed so far in “violent and arbitrary crackdowns” since the coup, warning that “the losses were increasing dramatically.” More than 2,150 people were also arrested on Saturday, he added.
Plumes of smoke rose above the huge market town of Hlaing Thar Yar in Yangon on Sunday, where security forces opened fire on protesters. At least 22 civilians were killed and more than 20 injured, including three in critical condition, according to the AAPP.
Throughout the day, gunshots were heard continuously by locals hiding in their homes, while military trucks were seen driving through the streets of Hlaingthaya.
A doctor told AFP news agency that she had treated around 50 injured people. “I can’t talk much – the injured keep coming,” she said before hanging up.
AAPP reported an “equally extreme crackdown” in other parts of the country, including the second town of Mandalay, where a woman was shot, and in Bago, where two people were killed.
Meanwhile, state television MRTV said a policeman died of a chest injury after a confrontation with protesters in Bago. He is the second policeman to be declared dead during the protests.
Also on Sunday, state media said martial law had been declared on Hlaing Thar Yar and neighboring Shwepyitha township.
Military government “gives Yangon regional commander the power to practice administrative and judicial martial law [in Hlaingthaya and Shwepyitha townships] … To ensure security, maintain the rule of law and peace more effectively, ”said a host on state television.
Dr Sasa, a representative of elected legislators in the assembly who was removed from office by the military, expressed solidarity with those affected by the military government’s decision.
“The perpetrators, the attackers, the enemies of the people of Myanmar, the evil SAC (State Administrative Council) will be held responsible for every drop of blood shed,” he said in a message.
The United Nations envoy to Myanmar strongly condemned the continued bloodshed in the country.
“The international community, including regional actors, must come together in solidarity with the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations,” Christine Schraner Burgener said in a statement on Sunday.
She said the Burmese military is defying international calls for restraint, adding that it had heard “heartbreaking accounts of killings, ill-treatment of protesters and torture of prisoners” from contacts inside the country. from Southeast Asia.
“The continued brutality, including against medical personnel and the destruction of public infrastructure, seriously undermines any prospect of peace and stability,” she said.
In a statement, Dan Chugg, the UK’s ambassador to Myanmar, also said the UK government “is appalled by the use of lethal force by security forces against innocent people” in Yangon and elsewhere. other parts of Myanmar.
“The British government is appalled by the use of lethal force by the security forces against innocent people.” Statement by the British Ambassador following violence in Hlaing Thar Yar and elsewhere in #Myanmar today.#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/ucuj1rMjzK
– UK in Myanmar 🇬🇧 (@ukinmyanmar) March 14, 2021
China says factories burned down
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Myanmar said many Chinese workers were injured and trapped when factories in Hlaing Thar Yar were looted and destroyed by unidentified assailants.
The embassy called for security to be guaranteed quickly, a statement said on the embassy’s Facebook page, calling the situation “very serious.” He said Chinese citizens in Myanmar had also been warned.
“The factories of some Chinese companies have been looted and destroyed and many Chinese employees have been injured and trapped,” he said, without giving details of the injuries.
Opponents of the coup criticized China for not speaking out more strongly against the military takeover like Western countries have. China said stability was the priority and that was Myanmar’s internal business.
In its statement, the AAPP said that “the junta forces did not leave the streets and neighborhoods and raped and set the neighborhoods on fire. [in Hlaing Thar Yar]. “
The latest crackdown came a day after Mahn Win Khaing Than, who is on the run along with most senior officials from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, said the civilian government would seek to give people the legal right to defend themselves.
Aung San Suu Kyi is due to return to court on Monday. She faces at least four charges, including the illegal use of walkie-talkie radios and violating coronavirus protocols.
The military said it came to power after its accusations of fraud in the November 8 election won by the NLF were dismissed by the electoral commission. He promised to hold a new election, but did not set a date.