Dozens of Myanmar protesters died in demonstrations on a holiday once known as Resistance Day, as both the junta and those against its February coup showed no signs of backing down from weeks of conflict.
At least 77 people in 36 townships were killed on Saturday during crackdowns by the military, according to rights group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, adding that the number may be much higher. That would make it the bloodiest day since the coup began, the association’s co-founder Bo Kyi said.
The junta celebrated Armed Forces Day on Saturday, a day that commemorates the army’s resistance against Japanese forces in 1945. The military held a parade in the capital Naypyidaw, where coup leader Min Aung Hlaing reiterated a promise to hold fresh elections and a transition to democracy.
Shots were fired at the cultural American Center Yangon, according to Aryani Manring, a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in the country. She didn’t provide details and said the incident is being investigated.
The European Union’s delegation in Myanmar called Saturday a “day of terror and dishonor.”
“The killing of unarmed civilians, including children, are indefensible acts,” the delegation said in a statement. “The European Union stands more than ever by the courageous people of Myanmar and calls for an immediate and unconditional end of all forms of violence and the restoration of democracy.”
As of Friday, a total of 3,070 people have been arrested in relation to the military coup, and at least 328 people were killed by the junta, according to a daily report by the AAPP.
— With assistance by Khine Lin Kyaw