Myanmar Regime’s Troops Kill More Than 20 in Friday Assault
By The Irrawaddy 9 April 2021
Myanmar’s military regime reportedly used mortars to drop explosive shells on anti-regime protesters in three residential wards in Bago town, Bago Region early on Friday morning.
The dawn raids targeted the main assembly areas of protesters, firing live rounds of ammunition in addition to the mortar shells.
More than 20 were reportedly killed and several were wounded during the attacks, according to residents. Several were arrested. But the Irrawaddy was unable to confirm the numbers separately.
About 4 a.m. on Friday, the regime’s forces opened fire with automatic weapons in a raid targeting roadblocks that had been erected with sandbags by anti-regime protesters. Only defense team members were guarding the area at that time.
Residents said that the regime’s forces raided three wards—Shinsawpu, Hmawkan and Nantawyar—where anti-regime demonstrations have been held daily.
In videos that recorded the attacks, several gunshots including the firing of automatic weapons can be heard.
Other video shows a man being chased and fired upon by a dozen troops while he was running to escape arrest.
Residents said that they heard about five explosions of heavy ammunition during the regime’s attack.
A photo also shows a tail of a mortar shell found by the residents.
Friday morning, all entrances to the wards were blocked with police lines by after about 250 regime troops were deployed in the areas. People are not allowed to go outside or enter the areas, residents said.
A student union member of Bago University said that troops forced the residents to remove the roadblocks in the areas.
“Amid the killing, we will keep fighting until the end of the regime,” the student said.
A civil society group said that none of the rescue groups in the town dared to go into the area to pick up the bodies of the dead or provide the treatment to those injured. The regime’s forces are targeting civil society organizations in the town for arrest.
Recently, the regime’s forces have seized ambulances and arrested members of two rescue societies.
Local residents said that many people from around the areas where the regime’s forces are deployed have fled their home in fear of arrest.
On Friday, the regime’s forces also removed the roadblocks in many townships in Mandalay, according to a resident.
Also, anti-regime protests in Kayah State’s capital Loikaw were attacked by regime forces and two were injured in the gunfire on Friday.
On Wednesday, the junta’s forces used explosive ammunition and live rounds during a dawn raid to remove the roadblocks at Kale, Sagaing Region while anti-regime protesters were resisting with homemade percussion lock firearms, homemade gas air-guns and slingshots.
During the raid, about 12 protesters were killed, mainly by explosives. More than 12 were wounded. Nearly 20 were arrested.
As of Thursday, about 614 people have been killed by the military regime’s forces during their assaults on anti-regime protesters, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). That death toll includes bystanders and residents, including children, hit by random gunfire by security forces.
Meanwhile, more than 2,800 people including elected leaders, members of National League for Democracy, election commissioners, artists, writers, teachers, journalists, protesters and civilians have been arrested.
Tens of thousands of people across Myanmar continue to take to the streets to show their defiance of the military regime.
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