Myanmar’s military killed at least 50 protesters on Saturday, on the annual National Armed Forces Day, said Myanmar Now news agency. It was precisely on this military holiday that the pro-democracy opponents of the coup had called on their fellow citizens to take to the streets again en masse.
What’s going on in Myanmar again?
- The military in Myanmar staged a coup on Feb. 1, seizing power in the country at the expense of the government.
- The military claims that the elections (in which the military-backed party lost) were unfair. Government leader Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested.
- But according to observers, the polls were indeed fair.
- Since the coup, the Myanmarese have taken to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the military junta. The military is responding more and more violently to the protests.
The army carried out several raids early on Saturday morning (local time) in an attempt to nip the protest in the bud. In addition to the fifty deaths, at least ten were injured, according to Myanmar Now. The international news agency Reuters could not yet confirm those numbers.
The rulers already warned on Friday that troops could shoot protesters in the head or in the back. At least 320 activists have been killed so far in clashes with the armed forces, a local organization reported earlier Friday. At least 25 percent of the dead died from shots to the head, raising suspicion that they were targeted shot.
‘Acts of terrorism are unacceptable’
While troops carried torches and flags and marched alongside army vehicles, junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing once again defended the coup and pledged to return power after new elections. He warned that “acts of terrorism that could harm the peace and security of the state” are unacceptable.
Armed Forces Day, which commemorates the beginning of local resistance to the Japanese occupation during World War II, is usually accompanied by a military parade attended by foreign officers and diplomats.
However, the junta has struggled to gain international recognition since taking control of Myanmar and said eight international delegations were present at the parade on Saturday. Below that would be China and Russia.
Source site www.nu.nl