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More bitter clashes yesterday in Myanmar with the toll rising to 618

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PHOTO: Burmese troops attack residents in Bago - Kadeshan

“618 Burmese civilians, including 48 children, have been killed by the army and their security forces since the February 1 coup.”

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reports that Burmese soldiers have killed 80 civilian protesters near Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Myanmar Now reports the number as 82…

“The junta’s armed forces crushed a key protest stronghold in Bago’s Ma Ga Dit road in a pre-dawn attack…. Soldiers have been stationed at the Zeyar Muni pagoda compound in the town and have taken dead bodies inside…. “There could be at least 57 dead bodies inside the pagoda compound as well as three bodies at a local morgue and one that was cremated immediately”.

Witnesses say troops used rifle grenades against protesters in Bago.

“A leader of the protest column in Bago said no one could go outside as soldiers were shooting at anybody they saw on the streets,” according to Myanmar Now.

The reporting of numbers of civilian deaths has become more complicated since the Army chiefs ordered a switch off of communications and internet, throttling the communications between people and groups inside the country. The story of the 82 people massacred in Bago took more than 24 hours to emerge.

Another Bago resident told AFP that Army officials wouldn’t allow rescue workers near the bodies.

“They piled up all the dead bodies, loaded them into their army truck and drove it away,” he told AFP.

Footage from Al Jazeera here…

YouTube video

 

Yesterday, in Tamu, Sagaing Region, in far northwest Myanmar, locals ambushed Burmese security forces with home-made rifles as they tried to enter the town to confront protesters. At least 3 soldiers and one local resident were killed in that clash.

Meanwhile, forces calling themselves the ‘Three Brotherhood Alliance’ of ethnic armed organisations attacked a police station yesterday, 25 kilometres outside of Lashio, deep in the northern Shan State near the Chinese border, resulting in the death of many police. Myanmar Now reports that 8 police were killed in the attack, including the police chief.

Troops from the Arakan Army , the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army were involved in the strike, according to local residents.

The Brotherhood Alliance is also a part of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee led by the United Wa State Army, an organisation trying to unite Myanmar’s disparate ethnic groups against the Burmese army.

In another update, according to AFP, 19 people were reported to have been sentenced to death for killing an associate of an army captain near Yangon, the first sentences of that nature announced on military-owned TV outlets. Only 2 of the sentenced are currently in custody, the others were sentenced in absentia.

SOURCES: AFP | Myanmar Now

 

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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