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Biden and EU strongly condemn bloodiest day since coup

US President Joe Biden and the European Union lead the concert of international condemnations after a weekend of bloody repression in Burma, the day Saturday having the heaviest toll since the coup two months ago, with at less 107 deaths including 7 children. Author of a coup on February 1 that overthrew the head of the civilian government Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese army bloodily suppressed daily demonstrations calling for the return of democracy and the release of former leaders, killing a total of several hundreds of civilians.

“Day of horror and shame”

The death toll has risen to at least 459, according to AAPP, a local NGO that records the death toll since the putsch. The United Nations estimated Saturday’s death toll at 107 people – including seven children – but expects the death toll to rise further. Local media report 114 dead.

“It’s terrible,” Joe Biden told reporters on Sunday. “It is absolutely scandalous and according to the information I have received, a lot of people have been killed in a completely unnecessary manner.”

The European Union, through the voice of its head of diplomacy, for its part condemned Sunday evening “an unacceptable escalation of violence”, “an insane path” chosen by the Burmese military junta. In a statement, EU High Representative Josep Borrell called Saturday a “day of horror and shame”.

Several children killed

But according to the chain Myawaddy TV, managed by the army, the toll of the day of Saturday is 45 dead and 552 arrests. Television justified the crackdown by claiming that the protesters used firearms and bombs against the security forces.

On Sunday, despite the danger, the Burmese once again took to the streets of Yangon and other cities to demand a return to democracy, and numerous funerals were held across the country.

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“A girl was shot in the head and died in hospital, while two men were shot dead on the spot,” said a rescuer from Monywa town. In Hlaing, a district of Yangon, a 16-year-old boy lost his hand in an explosion, trying to return a grenade thrown by security forces at protesters, a rescue worker said.

In Mandalay, the family of Aye Ko, a father of four, killed in the night from Saturday to Sunday, paid tribute to him during a ceremony. “He was the only one to feed the family, losing him is a great loss for us,” said a relative. The AAPP has identified 13 dead for the day Sunday.

Great Britain advises its nationals to leave

The day before, pro-democracy activists had called for demonstrations on the day when the army organized a gigantic parade every year in front of General Min Aung Hlaing, now head of the junta.

The heads of the defense forces of 12 countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Japan and Germany, condemned during the night of Saturday to Sunday the use of force by the Burmese army against “unarmed” civilians. “A professional army follows international standards of conduct and has a responsibility to protect the people it serves, not to harm them,” they say in a rare joint statement.

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On Monday, the British Foreign Office advised its nationals in Burma to leave as soon as possible, following “a significant increase in the level of recent violence”. The American embassy in Yangon, for its part, asked its citizens on Sunday to limit their movements, calling on them to be “careful” if they had to travel.

The military used live ammunition in more than 40 townships in nine regions, including Yangon, the country’s largest city, according to the AAPP. “Junta forces fired automatic weapons on residential areas, killing many civilians, including six children between the ages of ten and sixteen,” the NGO said. “The fact that the illegitimate military regime targets children is a serious act of inhumanity.”

Thousands of Karen on the run

Meanwhile, an armed rebel group from the Karen ethnic minority, the Karen National Union, claimed to have been bombarded by junta hunters in the east on Saturday, hours after the rebel group seized the area. a military base. Hsa Moo, of the Karen ethnicity and human rights activist, told AFP that three people were killed and at least eight injured.

This is the first air attack in this state in 20 years. The target, the Fifth Brigade of the National Karen Union (KNU), is one of the largest armed groups in the country and claims to represent the Karen people.

New airstrikes on Sunday pushed 3,000 people from two villages in Karen state to cross the Thai border for safety, according to Hsa Moo.

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