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Over 100 killed in a single day in Myanmar as junta intensifies crackdown

The Myanmar junta killed at least 114 people across the country on Saturday, 27 March, in a brutal crackdown against people who are protesting the military coup on 1 February.   

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.” 

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.” 

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “deeply shocked” by the killings and called for a “unified and resolute international response.” 

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. 

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