Myanmar security forces killed at least 82 people during anti-coup protests in the town of Bago on Friday, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.
What they’re saying: “It is like genocide,” Myanmar Now news outlet quoted protester organizer Ye Htut as saying, per Reuters. “They are shooting at every shadow.”
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What happened: Security forces fired rifle grenades at protesters in Bago, 55 miles northeast of Yangon, before dawn on Friday and continued their attack into the afternoon, Myanmar Now reported, according to Reuters.
Details of the attack weren’t immediately available because “security forces piled up bodies in the Zeyar Muni pagoda compound and cordoned off the area,” Reuters reported, citing witnesses and domestic media outlets.
The United Nations in Myanmar tweeted on Saturday it was “following events in Bago with reports of heavy artillery being used against civilians and medical treatment being denied to those injured.”
The UN called on security forces to allow medical teams to treat those injured and demanded the violence “cease immediately.”
The big picture: More than 701 people, including dozens of children, have been killed since the Feb. 1 military coup, according to AAPP.
Thousands have been detained.
Junta spokesperson Major General Zaw Min Tun said in a news conference this week that the military recorded 248 civilian and 10 police deaths, per Reuters. He also denied that security forces were using automatic weapons and defended their actions.
The U.S. ambassador to the UN on Friday called for the international community to take “concrete action” against Myanmar’s military, including imposing an arms embargo and sanctions, per AP.
“I say categorically, we cannot — we simply cannot — allow the military to destabilize the region once again through its unrelenting campaign of violence, their campaign of repression, and especially — especially — against the backdrop of an unprecedented global pandemic,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.
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