Myanmar forces reportedly kill more than 90 people, including children, in deadliest day since coup
Myanmar security forces have killed 114 people, including some children, in a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters on the bloodiest day of violence since last month's military coup, local media reported.Key points:
- It comes a day after the military announced that further protests would be met with shots to the head
- The previous deadliest day was March 14 when between 74 and 90 people were believed to have been killed
- The military has taken power because it claims there was election fraud last November
As Myanmar's military celebrated the annual Armed Forces Day holiday with a parade Saturday in the country's capital soldiers and police elsewhere reportedly killed dozens of people.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the junta leader, said during the parade that the military would protect the people and strive for democracy.
Demonstrators turned out on Saturday in the capital city of Yangon, as well as Mandalay and other towns, as they have done almost daily since the February 1 coup.
The Myanmar Now news portal said 114 people were killed across the country in crackdowns on the protests in one day.
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.
The previous deadliest day was on March 14, when between 74 to 90 people had died.
"Today is a day of shame for the armed forces," Dr Sasa, a spokesman for CRPH, an anti-junta group set up by the country's deposed politicians, told an online forum.
A military spokesman did not respond to calls seeking comment on the killings by security forces.
"They are killing us like birds or chickens, even in our homes," said protester 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."
The deaths on Saturday would take the number of civilians reported killed since the coup to more than 440.
Military jets also launched air strikes on a village in territory controlled by an armed group from the Karen ethnic minority and at least two people were killed, a civil society group said.
Earlier, the Karen National Union said it had overrun an army post near the Thai border, killing 10 people — including a lieutenant colonel — and losing one of its own fighters as tensions with the military surged after years of relative peace.A new low in a 'day of terror': UK Foreign Minister
The killings quickly drew international condemnation, with multiple diplomatic missions to Myanmar releasing statements that mentioned the killing of civilians Saturday (local time), including children.
United States Ambassador Thomas Vajda said on social media: "This bloodshed is horrifying."
"Myanmar's people have spoken clearly: they do not want to live under military rule".
British foreign minister Dominic Raab said the killing of unarmed civilians and children marked a new low, while the EU delegation to Myanmar said Saturday would "forever stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonour".
"This is just the latest example of the military authorities' determination to kill their way out of nationwide resistance to the coup," Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said.
"These abhorrent killings again show the generals' brazen disregard for the inadequate pressure applied so far by the international community.
"This comes a day after the military announced that further protests would be met with shots to the head."
The military has said it took power because November elections won by Aung San Suu Kyi's party were fraudulent, an assertion dismissed by the country's election commission.
Ms Suu Kyi, the elected leader and the country's most popular civilian politician, remains in detention at an undisclosed location