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News24.com | More than 800 people killed by Myanmar security forces since coup

  • May 18, 2021
  • According
    to an activist group, 802 people have been killed by Myanmar junta forces after
    the military seized power in a coup.
  • The
    activist group said 4 120 people were currently being detained, including 20
    who had been sentenced to death.
  • The
    United States and Britain have called on the army to avoid civilian casualties.


More
than 800 people have been killed by Myanmar’s security forces since a wave of
protests broke out across the country after the military seized power in a coup
in February, an activist group said.

Myanmar
has been in turmoil since the army ousted Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu
Kyi’s elected government and detained her and officials of her National League
for Democracy party.

The
military has responded to protests by pro-democracy supporters in cities and
towns with lethal force, while there has been an upsurge in fighting between
the army and ethnic rebels in border areas and newly formed militia forces.

As
of Monday, 802 people had been killed in the junta’s crackdown on its
opponents, according to the activist group, the Assistance Association for
Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The group said in its daily briefing:

It
detailed six additional fatalities, including in towns in Chin state and in
districts of the main cities of Mandalay and Yangon.

Reuters
could not independently verify the casualties and a military spokesperson did
not answer a phone call seeking comment.

The
junta has previously disputed the number of civilians that have died and said
dozens of members of the security forces had also been killed during the
protests.

The
activist group said 4 120 people were currently being detained, including 20
who had been sentenced to death.

‘Almost everyone left city’

Some
of the most intense fighting since the 1 February coup has emerged in recent
days in Mindat, about 100km from the Indian border in Chin state as the army
battles local militias.

Thousands
of residents in the hill town in northwest Myanmar were hiding in jungles,
villages and valleys on Monday after fleeing an assault by the military,
witnesses said.

Martial
law was declared in Mindat last week before the army launched its assault,
using artillery and helicopters against a newly formed Chinland Defence Force.
The militia, armed mainly with hunting rifles, said it had pulled back to spare
civilians from being caught in the crossfire.

Several
residents reached by Reuters said food was in short supply and estimated as
many as 5 000 to 8 000 people had fled the town. Roads were blocked and the
presence of troops in the streets was preventing their return.

Myanmar protesters in Hpakant holding signs

“Almost
everyone left the city,” said a volunteer fighter who said she was in a
jungle. “Most of them are in hiding.”

The
United States and Britain have called on the army to avoid civilian casualties
and a shadow National Unity Government formed by loyalists of Suu Kyi appealed
for international help.

A
UN General Assembly vote on Tuesday on a draft resolution calling “for an
immediate suspension of the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer of all
weapons and munitions” to Myanmar has been postponed, diplomats said.

It
was not immediately known when a vote would be rescheduled. Some diplomats said
it had been delayed in a bid to win more support.

The
draft resolution calls on the Myanmar military to end a state of emergency,
stop all violence against peaceful protesters and respect the will of the
people as expressed in the results of November’s election.


Article source: https://www.news24.com/news24/World/News/more-than-800-people-killed-by-myanmar-security-forces-since-coup-activist-group-20210518

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