Amongst those killed include a 13-year-old girl. Several other young children have been attacked by the security forces in different parts of the country. A one-year-old girl was reportedly shot with a rubber bullet and has incurred a severe injury in her eye. In another incident, a five-year-old boy was shot in the head.
Live rounds of ammunition were opened at unarmed protesters in major cities including Mandalay and Yangon. Gunshots hit the US Cultural Centre in Yangon. The US embassy later confirmed that these did not cause any injuries.
The latest crackdown has increased the total death toll of protesters since the coup to over 440 people.
The violence was unleashed as the Myanmar military marked the country’s Armed Forces Day with a parade in the capital Naypyidaw. The event was attended by Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fonin. The chief of the coup Min Aung Hlaing called Russia a “true friend”.
Myanmar had earlier been sanctioned by the U.S., European Union and the U.K. for the coup. Nonetheless, the junta continues to escalate its crackdown against protesters including in one event opening fire at a funeral gathering of a victim.
U.S. Secretary of State said in a tweet that he was “horrified by the bloodshed perpetrated by the Burmese security forces.”
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. I send my deepest condolences to the victims’ families. The courageous people of Burma reject the military’s reign of terror.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 27, 2021
The British Ambassador in Yangon said in a statement that the “security forces have disgraced themselves by shooting unarmed civilians.” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the latest round of violence a “new low” and vowed to work with “our international partners to end this senseless violence.”
Today’s killing of unarmed civilians, including children, marks a new low. We will work with our international partners to end this senseless violence, hold those responsible to account, and secure a path back to democracy. https://t.co/PfHZ3xipzt
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) March 27, 2021
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “deeply shocked” by the killings and called for a “unified and resolute international response.”
I am deeply shocked by the killing of dozens of civilians, including children & young people, by security forces in Myanmar today.
The continuing military crackdown is unacceptable and demands a firm, unified & resolute international response. https://t.co/qtnQaH5jvN
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 27, 2021
The military junta seized power on a coup d'etat on February 1. It questioned the fairness of the results of the general elections of November 2020 which gave Aung San Sui Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) a massive win. The Election Commission has denied that the election was fraudulent. The junta has kept Suu Kyi in detention in an undisclosed location.