Yangon: Defiant anti-coup protesters returned to cities and towns across Myanmar on Thursday after dozens of people were killed in the deadliest day of the junta’s crackdown, with global powers condemning the “brutal violence”.
The United Nations said that at least 38 people were killed on Wednesday, when online images from Myanmar showed that security forces shot at the crowd with bullet wounds on their heads and shot at the corpses of protesters covered in blood.
The Burmese military launched a coup on February 1, ending a 10-year democratic experiment and sparking a large-scale uprising, that is, the military government increasingly seeks to suppress the regime with lethal force.
Wednesday’s violence left the United States “appalled and revulsed,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
“We call on all countries to speak with one voice to condemn the brutal violence by the Burmese military against its own people,” he said, referring to the country by its former name.
More than 50 people have been killed since the military takeover, UN envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener told reporters.
On Thursday, protesters hit the streets again in Yangon and Mandalay, the nation’s two biggest cities, as well as other towns that have been hotspots for unrest.
In recent days, the town of San Chaung in Yangon has fallen into chaos as security forces have gathered there to prevent the gathering of anti-coup demonstrators.
A residential area known for its trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars, Thursday’s streets were transformed by barricades built with sandbags, tires, bricks and barbed wire.
Passers-by walked on a photo of Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the military government. Protesters put plaster on the ground to slowly chase the security forces so as not to step on the portrait.
“Yesterday was horrific… it was devastating to learn the military in Myanmar has never changed since 1962,” activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi told AFP.
But “resistance is now our duty,” she said, pledging to protest every day.