5 dead in Myanmar as crackdown on protests continue

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Myanmar
Photo: AFP

Nay Pyi Taw: Five people were killed across Myanmar on Saturday as the military continues to crack down on the ongoing protests against the February 1 coup.

Three people died when the armed forces suppressed a protest in Monywa, in the Sagaing region on Saturday morning, dpa news agency quoted the Myanmar Now website as saying in a report.

One protester was shot dead and 10 were arrested in Thahtone, Mon state, according to Bago Weekly Journal Online Page.

Soldiers took the body, it added.

An 18-year-old who was passing by was also shot and killed although he had not been protesting, the newspaper wrote.

Despite the threat of violence, people throughout the country turned out to oppose the military takeover, including in Mandalay, Mon and Kayah states and in the Sagaing and Tanintharyi regions.

Since the coup, at least 550 people have been killed, including 46 children, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a non-profit organization.

Currently, 2,751 people have been detained, and 126 arrest warrants issued.

On Friday evening, state media announced charges against 18 television celebrities, social media influencers and a journalist for “circulation of material intended to cause a member of the armed forces to mutiny or disregard their duty”.

“They don’t only arrest people who have been issued warrants. If they want, they even break the door and launch arrests. They don’t shoot and kill only protesters who are on roads. If they want, they also shoot dead a 5-year-old child who was at home,” Paing Pyoe Thu, a famous actress in Myanmar who was among those charged, wrote on Facebook.

Meanwhile, more than 12,000 people fled their villages following military air strikes targeting Mutraw District and Kler Htoo District between March 27 and March 30, Karen National Union, one of the strongest ethnic armed organisations in Myanmar, said on Friday.

The group warned that this had led to a “major humanitarian crisis”.

The group urged the international community to stop selling “all explosive weaponry large and small, any advanced technology that is used to propagate war and jet fighters” to the armed forces.

It also called for “strong and effective sanctions against the military coup”.