Representational image
Representational image
AP Photo

With the Myanmar military's increasingly brutal crackdown continuing against peaceful protests, the death toll since the February 1 coup in the country has crossed 500.

"As of 29 March, 510 people are now confirmed killed by this junta coup," said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a non-profit organisation, in a daily briefing yesterday.

The AAPP yesterday documented 51 more people who were killed during the anti-coup protests, including 14 on Monday and 37 on previous days. The deaths include children, women, youth and civilians.

"As of March 29, a total of 2,574 people are detained in relation to the attempted military coup on February 1, of them 37 are sentenced. A further 120 people have been issued arrest warrants," it said.

Fifty-eight days have passed since the military forcefully overthrew a democratically elected government, and the situation in Myanmar continues to deteriorate, with violent and unprovoked shootings on civilians and even children. On Monday, the military junta also opened fire on people who were attending a funeral in Taunggyi for those who had previously died.

According to AAPP, the junta has even threatened to burn down neighbourhoods if people continued to protest against the military government.

Despite worldwide condemnation and calls for stopping the hostile rule, the military has carried on with its brutal suppression of dissent against the coup.

In the deadliest day since the coup, at least 114 protesters were killed by the junta on Saturday, including a 13-year-old who was shot in her house after the armed forces opened fire in residential areas of Meikhtila.

This incident was widely condemned by the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and other countries.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Monday announced the immediate suspension of all US trade engagement with Myanmar under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement until the return of a democratically elected government.

Nearly 3,000 villagers from Myanmar's southeastern Karen state escaped to Thailand on Sunday after the army conducted air attacks on an area held by an ethnic group, reported Sky News.

On February 1, Myanmar's military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency while detaining civilian leaders including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup triggered mass protests which were met by the junta's deadly violence.

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