Relatives look at the body of a protester who was shot dead in Mandalay. AFP
The civilian death toll in the crackdown by the Myanmar junta has reached 550 since the Feb. 1 coup as security forces opened fire on pro-democracy protests on Saturday killing five people, a protester and media said.
Of those, 46 were children, according to Myanmar's Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Some 2,751 people have been detained or sentenced, the group said.
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Late Friday, armed plainclothes police took five people into custody after they spoke with a CNN reporter in a Yangon market, local media reported, citing witnesses. The arrests occurred in three separate incidents.
Protesters gather behind a barricade during a protest against the military coup, in Monywa, Myanmar on Saturday. Reuters
Two women reportedly shouted for help as they were being arrested as the military reinforced its bid to end dissent with arrest warrants for online critics and internet blocks.
Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government.
Despite the killing of more than 550 people by the security forces since the Feb. 1 coup, protesters are coming out every day, often in smaller groups in smaller towns, to voice opposition to the reimposition of military rule.
This photo shows people taking part in a demonstration against the military coup in Win Yay, Myanmar. KIC/AFP
Security forces in the central town of Monywa fired on a crowd killing thee people, the Myanmar Now news service said, while one man was shot and killed in another central town, Bago, and one in Thaton to the south, the Bago Weekly Journal online news portal reported.
Myanmar Now news service reported. One police officer, who was carrying a gun, asked if "anyone dared to help them," a witness told the news service.
"They pointed their pistols at everyone-at passersby and at people in the store,” a witness said of two police officers who forcibly took away two other women in the market.
The body of Zaw Ko Latt is washed as part of preparations for his funeral in Mandalay. AFP
Meanwhile, the Karen National Union representing the ethnic minority rebel group that has been fighting the government for decades condemned "non-stop bombings and airstrikes” against villages and "unarmed civilians” in their homeland along the border with Thailand."The attacks have caused the death of many people including children and students, and the destruction of schools, residential homes, and villages. These terrorist acts are clearly a flagrant violation of local and international laws,” the group said in a statement.
Big article about the power of the smartphone in reporting the world’s issues, the highlight of the article being the coup in Myanmar (“Chilling smartphone imagery stuns a watching world,” Mar.20, Gulf Today). But the article, while it extols the power
Street protests were held in the commercial capital Yangon, the central city of Monywa and several other towns, a day after a nationwide silent strike saw businesses shut and people stay at home in protest against the military coup in the Southeast Asian country.
Extra troops were seen in key locations of Yangon, the nation's commercial hub and biggest city, including armoured personnel carriers near the central bank.
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