FEATURE: Death toll in Myanmar reaches 423 fatalities amid military violence

Saturday saw the military junta open fire at crowds of innocent protesters.

Saturday saw the military junta open fire at crowds of innocent protesters. Photo by Somchai Kongkamsri/Pexels.

CAPE TOWN, March 28 (ANA) – Myanmar saw the bloodiest day on Saturday since the military junta overthrew the government in a coup d’état at the beginning of February.

Hundreds of innocent civilians were reportedly killed by the military junta.

Gruesome bloodshed between the army and ethnic armed groups that occupy large swaths of the the former Burmese country, has led to political outrage from across the world.

Horrific videos and images have been leaked onto social media.

According to various media reports, 320 people have been killed.

The violent crackdown on demonstrators by Myanmar’s security forces showed that the military junta would “sacrifice the lives of the people to serve the few,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saturday said in a tweet.

“We are horrified by the bloodshed perpetrated by Burmese security forces, showing that the junta will sacrifice the lives of the people to serve the few,” Blinken said.

“I send my deepest condolences to the victims’ families. The courageous people of Burma reject the military’s reign of terror.”

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), – an organisation that monitors deaths and arrests – by “early evening” on Saturday, 90 people had been killed.

However, the death toll was still climbing and currently stood at over 400 civilians since the coup began, according to reports.

Earlier this week, the US, EU and the UK, the country’s former colonial rulers, imposed sanctions on a conglomerate controlled by Myanmar’s military on Thursday.

“The shameful, cowardly, brutal actions of the military and police who have been filmed shooting at protesters as they flee, and who have not even spared young children – must be halted immediately,” UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet said.

According to Al Jazeera, additional deaths have been recorded by the AAPP throughout Myanmar, including in Yangon, the country’s largest region, and ethnic minority areas in the country’s borderlands.

Gunshots were fired at the US cultural centre in Yangon on Saturday, but no one was wounded, according to US embassy spokesperson Aryani Manring.

According to the AAPP, at least 25% of those killed suffered fatalities by gunshots to the head.

Almost all of the victims were men, with around a third of them being under the age of 24.

On Saturday, March 27, the United States’ top military officer and nearly a dozen counterparts condemned Myanmar’s junta use of lethal force.

A statement was signed by 12 chiefs of defence from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Britain and the United States.

“As Chiefs of Defence, we condemn the use of lethal force against unarmed people by the Myanmar Armed Forces and associated security services,” the statement said, according to Myanmar’s local news network, Eleven Myanmar.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Devereaux Morkel

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