UN: 38 killed in ‘bloodiest day’ since coup hit Myanmar

Baku, March 4, AZERTAC

At least 38 people were killed in anti-coup protests in Myanmar on Wednesday, the United Nations said, in the bloodiest crackdown yet on peaceful demonstrations against a military coup, Al Jazeera reports.

Security forces opened fire on people protesting against military rule across Myanmar, a day after neighboring countries called for restraint and offered to help resolve the crisis.

Police and soldiers opened fire with live rounds with little warning, witnesses said.

Describing Wednesday’s death toll as “shocking”, Christine Schraner Burgener, the UN’s envoy on Myanmar, said in New York there were “now more than 50 people [dead] since the coup started and many are wounded”.

She cited weapons experts who examined video footage that appeared to show police using 9mm sub-machine guns to fire live ammunition at people.

“I saw today very disturbing video clips. One was [showing] police beating a volunteer medical crew; they were not armed,” Burgener told a virtual briefing.

The envoy said about 1,200 people have been detained in Myanmar since last month’s coup and many families do not know their health condition or whereabouts.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which has been tracking arrests since the coup, says 1,498 people have been detained with 1,192 still in detention. In its nightly briefing on the situation in the country it condemned the use of force against peaceful protesters, saying live ammunition had been used in seven cities across the country.

Myanmar has been in chaos since February 1 when the military detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of the country’s civilian leadership, and seized power in a coup d’etat.

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