Asia/Pacific

Myanmar security forces kill at least 90 protesters

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Myanmar security forces killed at least 90 protesters Saturday in one of the deadliest days of the military’s crackdown on demonstrators protesting last month’s coup.

Reuters reported that Myanmar Now news portal put the most recent death toll at 91 after it continued to climb as protesters came out in large numbers despite warnings from the military junta that demonstrators would be met with severe force. 

Among the 29 people killed in Myanmar’s second-largest city of Mandalay was a boy believed to be as young as five years old, Reuters reported, citing local media. 

In Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, at least 24 people were killed in military crackdowns Saturday. 

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the military junta leader, said Saturday during a parade in the capital of Naypyitaw in honor of Armed Forces Day that the military would work to preserve democracy and protect the citizens of Myanmar, according to Reuters. 

The military early last month led a coup deposing the nationally-elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top officials over allegations of corruption. 

The military has argued that the country’s November 2020 election, in which Suu Kyi’s party had massive wins, was riddled with widespread fraud, thus invalidating the results. 

The country’s election commission has refuted allegations of any fraudulence that impacted the outcome of the elections. 

Anti-coup demonstrations have erupted throughout the country, which Myanmar’s military has responded to with brutal force. 

Reuters reported Saturday that the latest fatalities bring the total death toll of the military’s crackdown to more than 400. 

The European Union’s delegation to Myanmar said in a statement Saturday, “This 76th Myanmar armed forces day will stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonour,” according to Reuters. 

“The killing of unarmed civilians, including children, are indefensible acts,” the statement added. 

On Tuesday, local outlets reported that Myanmar military forces had shot and killed a 7-year-old girl during a raid on a Mandalay home. 

Myanmar Now reported that soldiers fired shots aimed at the girl’s father, but the bullets hit the girl instead as she was sitting on his lap. 

The military coup and security forces’ violent response to the ongoing protests have prompted condemnation from President Biden and other global leaders, with the House voting 398-14 last week to pass a resolution condemning the coup.

Tags anti-coup protests Aung San Suu Kyi Civilian deaths European Union Joe Biden Military coup Military junta Myanmar Myanmar coup Myanmar protests Reuters

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