320 killed in Myanmar military's crackdowns on protests, group says

320 killed in Myanmar military's crackdowns on protests, group says”

The toll of protesters confirmed killed in Myanmar since last month's takeover has reached 328, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a group that documents deaths and arrests.

A junta spokesman said 164 protesters and nine members of the security forces had been killed as of Tuesday.

Other media outlets reported that at least five people sustained bullet wounds when security forces opened fire on protests in other towns. About 1,000 have previously been freed from a total of about 3,000 arrested, the AAPP activist group has said.

Thirteen people were killed in various incidents in Mandalay, Myanmar Now said.

Among the victims, 11 were in the country's largest city Yangon, ten in Mandalay, four in the northern town of Lashio and one in southern city of Bago.

The southeast Asian country has been rocked by nearly daily protests since the army overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government and installed the junta on February 1.

Win Kyi, 78, is the oldest person recorded to have been killed and was among around 50 people killed in Yangon's Hlaing Thayar district on March 14, the bloodiest day so far. Reuters could not independently verify all the accounts.

March 27, the day the junta is celebrating as Armed Forces Day, is being called Resistance Day by protestors, the day which marks the beginning of a revolt against Japanese occupation in World War 2.

"Violent acts that affect stability and security in order to make demands are inappropriate".

Bob Rae, Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations, weighs in on the coup in Myanmar and calls for an internationally coordinated response: "If you have individual countries going off and doing different things, it doesn't have any impact". Khin Maung Zaw, a lawyer for Aung San Suu Kyi, told VOA that police blocked the thoroughfare that led to the courthouse, and only allowed two junior lawyers to enter.

State television MRTV on Friday night showed an announcement urging young people - who have been at the forefront of the protests and prominent among the casualties - to learn a lesson from those killed already about the danger of being shot in the head or back.

FILE- Soldiers take part in a military parade to mark Armed Forces Day in the capital Naypyitaw Myanmar
FILE- Soldiers take part in a military parade to mark Armed Forces Day in the capital Naypyitaw Myanmar

The warning did not specifically say that security forces had been given shoot-to-kill orders.

The parade was a show of force for the Tatmadaw, with military vehicles, firepower and soldiers marching in formation.

Suu Kyi, Myanmar's most popular civilian politician, remains in detention at an undisclosed location. On Wednesday, more than 600 others were freed from the same prison, also without being formally charged by a court.

Min Aung Hlaing expressed gratitude to the Russian representative for the country's support, describing it as a "true friend".

The parade is usually attended by officials from other nations.

Myanmar and Russia's defence ties have grown in recent years.

In Thanlyin, on the outskirts of Yangon, protesters held up placards reading: "We don't accept military coup".

Almost 3,000 people have been arrested since the coup, according to a local monitoring group, but the junta earlier this week released more than 600 from Yangon's Insein prison.

"The Myanmar Armed Forces Day isn't an armed forces day, it's more like the day they killed people", General Yawd Serk, chair of the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army - South (RCSS), told Reuters.

To protect themselves from violence, some activists have come up with creative ways to protest, including staging "human-less" rallies, using objects or dummies in place of people.

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