Yangon: More than 800 people have been killed by Myanmar‘s security forces since a wave of protests broke out across the country after the military seized power in a coup in February, an activist group said.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army ousted Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government and detained her and officials of her National League for Democracy party.
The military has responded to protests by pro-democracy supporters in cities and towns with lethal force, while there has been an upsurge in fighting between the army and ethnic rebels in border areas and newly formed militia forces.
As of May 17, 802 people had been killed in the junta’s crackdown on its opponents, according to the activist group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
“This is the number verified by AAPP, the actual number of fatalities is likely much higher,” the group said in its daily briefing.
It detailed six additional fatalities including in towns in Chin state and in districts of the main cities of Mandalay and Yangon.
The activist group said 4,120 people were currently being detained, including 20 who had been sentenced to death.
Some of the most intense fighting since the February 1 coup has emerged in recent days in Mindat, about 100 km (60 miles) from the Indian border in Chin state as the army battles local militias.
Martial law was declared in Mindat last week before the army launched its assault, using artillery and helicopters against a newly formed Chinland Defense Force. The militia, armed mainly with hunting rifles, said it had pulled back to spare civilians from being caught in the crossfire.
A UN General Assembly vote on May 18 on a draft resolution calling “for an immediate suspension of the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer of all weapons and munitions” to Myanmar has been postponed, diplomats said. (The Wire)