Members of a volunteer rescue team carry the body of a woman on a stretcher in Mandalay, Myanmar. AP
Gulf Today Report
Myanmar security forces fired on pro-democracy demonstrators on Monday, witnesses said, a day after dozens of protesters were killed and attackers torched several Chinese-financed factories in the city of Yangon.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group, at least 44 protesters were killed on Sunday as security forces cracked down on anti-coup demonstrations, taking the total death toll to more than 120.
Myanmar's junta late Sunday imposed martial law in two densely populated Yangon townships after one of the deadliest days since the Feb.1 coup.
The junta has repeatedly justified its power grab by alleging widespread electoral fraud in November's elections, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won by a landslide.
An injured man lies on a stretcher being carried by members of a volunteer rescue team in Mandalay, Myanmar. AP
State-run media announced late Sunday that Yangon's massive Hlaing Tharyar township and the neighbouring Shwepyitha township will be placed under martial law.
The vast and impoverished townships are known as factory hubs and home to garment factories.
The junta "gives administrative and judicial martial law power to the Yangon regional commander... to perform security, maintain the rule of law and tranquility more effectively," said an announcer on state-run TV.
A man uses a slingshot during the security force crack down on anti-coup protesters in Mandalay, Myanmar. Reuters
Soldiers and police have in recent weeks been staging near-daily crackdowns against demonstrators calling for a return to democracy -- deploying tear gas and firing rubber bullets and live rounds to quell anti-coup protests.
In Hlaing Tharyar township police and soldiers clashed violently with protesters wielding sticks and knives who hid behind makeshift barricades.
Separately, the United Nations' envoy for Myanmar on Sunday strongly condemned "continuing bloodshed" after many protesters were killed in one of the deadliest days since the country's Feb.1 coup.
"The international community, including regional actors, must come together in solidarity with the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations," Christine Schraner Burgener said in a statement.
The country has been in turmoil since a February 1 coup ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and triggered mass protests against the new military junta.
Police were out in force early and opened fire in different parts of the biggest city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas and shots in the air failed to break up crowds. Soldiers also reinforced police.
The attacks come after three months of turmoil in Myanmar triggered by a Feb. 1 military coup. There was no claim of responsibility or any confirmation of any casualties in the attacks.
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