Myanmar 50 dead as security forces disperse protesters in the capital

The news portal Myanmar Now reported that at least 50 people were killed when security forces opened fire on democracy-friendly protesters in various regions of Myanmar on Saturday.

Among the dead were 13 in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, nine in nearby Sajing District and seven in the commercial capital of Yangon.

It happened when the Chairman of the Military Council in Myanmar today, Saturday, took the opportunity of the country’s Armed Forces Day to try to justify the overthrow of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, while protesters were revived by a call today for larger demonstrations.

General Min Aung Hailing did not refer directly to the nationwide protests, which showed no sign of stopping.

In a televised address to thousands of soldiers at a major show in the capital, Naypyidaw, he referred only to “terrorism that can affect the country’s peace and social security” and described it as unacceptable.

Citizens in cities across Myanmar celebrated the holiday by demonstrating again against the February 1 coup.

In several places, security forces have tried to disperse them by force, which has become common practice.

The number of protesters killed in Myanmar since the military took power last month reached 328, according to the Association in Support of Political Prisoners, which documents deaths and arrests.

The association warned that the toll it has counted only includes verified cases, with the actual number of victims likely to be “much higher”.

The protesters refer to the holiday by its original name, Resistance Day, which marks the beginning of a revolution against the Japanese occupation during World War II.

This year’s event was seen as a point of outbreak of violence as protesters threatened to double their opposition to the coup with larger and larger demonstrations.

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