Myanmar: Over 100 protesters killed by security forces in single day

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 27, 2021, 11:17 PM(IST)

Family members cry in front of a man after he was shot dead during an anti-coup protesters crackdown in Yangon, Myanmar, March 27, 2021 Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The killings have come on Armed Forces Day in Myanmar

Myanmar security forces killed 114 people on Saturday (March 27), as per news reports and witnesses. This makes Saturday the most violent and horrific day since the military coup that toppled civilian government headed by Aung San Suu Kyi. These killings have come on Armed Forces Day. Military jets also launched airstrikes in territory held by Karen ethnic minority.

On Saturday protesters turned out in Yangon, Mandalay and other towns in the country as they have almost each day since the military coup that took place on February 1. 

At least 40 people, including a 13-year-old girl, were killed in Mandalay, and at least 27 people were killed in Yangon, Myanmar Now said. A boy as young as five was earlier reported among the dead in Mandalay but there were conflicting reports later that he may have survived. Another 13-year-old was among the dead in the central Sagaing region.

Also Read | Gunshots fired at US cultural centre in Myanmar, says embassy 

A military spokesman did not respond to calls from Reuters seeking comment on the killings by security forces, the air strikes or the insurgent attack on its post.

"They are killing us like birds or chickens, even in our homes," said Thu Ya Zaw in the central town of Myingyan, where at least two protesters were killed. "We will keep protesting regardless... We must fight until the junta falls."

Strong international backlash

"On Myanmar's Armed Forces Day, security forces are murdering unarmed civilians..." said US Ambassador Thomas Vajda in his statement.

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"Today’s killing of unarmed civilians, including children, marks a new low," he said while retweeting a statement from the British Ambassador. "We will work with our international partners to end this senseless violence, hold those responsible to account, and secure a path back to democracy." said British foreign minister Dominic Raab as he retweeted statement from British Ambassador in Myanmar

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"Shocking violence against #Myanmar’s people by its military on #ArmedForcesDay. We are receiving reports of scores killed, incl. children, 100s injured across 40 locations, & mass arrests. This violence is compounding the illegitimacy of the coup & the culpability of its leaders," tweeted United Nations Human Rights office.

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"Russia is a true friend"

Senior general Min Aung Hlaing, junta leader called Russia a "true friend" on Armed Forces Day. He was speaking at the parade in capital Naypitaw

Russia's deputy defence minister Alexander Fomin attended the parade in Naypyitaw, having met senior junta leaders a day earlier.

In his speech, Min Aung Hlaing reiterated promise to hold elections, without giving any time-frame.

"The army seeks to join hands with the entire nation to safeguard democracy," he said in a live broadcast on state television. "Violent acts that affect stability and security in order to make demands are inappropriate."

The military has said it took power because November elections won by Suu Kyi's party were fraudulent, an assertion dismissed by the country's election commission. Suu Kyi remains in detention at an undisclosed location and many other figures in her party are also in custody.

(With Reuters inputs)

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