Burma

Pace of Bloodshed Slows Monday After Myanmar Junta’s Weekend Massacre

By The Irrawaddy 29 March 2021

The pace of bloodshed at the hands of Myanmar’s military regime slowed Monday after a horrific weekend, but the killing only slowed.

It did not cease.

No fewer than eight people were shot dead on Monday as the junta’s troops continued to launch deadly crackdowns on anti-regime protesters. The latest killings pushed the protest-related death toll since the Feb. 1 coup to at least 460.

On Monday, Yangon’s South Dagon Township saw at least four deaths due to intensified gunfire. The area has been under martial law since the middle of the month, and it has been a flashpoint for fatal confrontations between the protesters and security forces for days.

Some residents said soldiers and police were reported to have used explosives to quell the protesters on Monday in South Dagon. They said piles of sandbags used to block security forces from their advancement were blown up when hit.

“One [protester] was hit in his chest. But we still can’t retrieve his body [because] soldiers are still there. Another was shot in the head,” said a resident of 55 Ward, one of the hard-hit areas in the township.

However, the military-owned Myawady Television maintained that security forces had to take action as “rioters” were trying to destroy a concrete bridge in the area and said only one man was wounded when soldiers and police used crowd control methods to disperse the protesters.

Thanlyin, a town across the Yangon River, experienced another bloody day as two protesters were hit in the head when soldiers and police sprayed live rounds on civilians about 4 p.m. The number of people wounded can’t be confirmed because there were soldiers and police still patrolling the roads, blocking people’s access to hospitals, local residents said.

In Yangon’s Thaketa Township, one man was shot dead about 11:30 a.m. when the regime’s troops opened fire on demonstrators who have been intensifying protests in the area since the weekend in spite of previous fatal crackdowns.

Like their counterparts in other areas across the country, a small number of protesters were armed with Molotov cocktails and slingshots, taking up arms against the regime’s brutal repression. But the majority were peaceful.

In Bago, a town 50 miles north of Yangon, one protester was shot dead and another wounded during a crackdown.

On Monday, after the weekend massacre by regime forces in Myanmar that took the lives of more than 100 in a single day on Saturday, the UN office in Myanmar flew its flag at half-mast “to honor and remember those who have lost their lives in Myanmar since 1st February, while exercising their inalienable human rights to the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.”

 

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