Opponents of the military putsch continued to demonstrate this Sunday in Burma, despite the relentless crackdown by the security forces which has left more than 700 civilians killed since the February 1 coup, including 82 deaths on Friday alone. in Bago, northeast of Rangoon. In Mandalay (center), the second city of the country, a bomb exploded this Sunday morning in front of the main branch of the Myawaddy bank which belongs to the army, injuring a security guard, according to local media.
The bank, sixth in the country, has suffered a boycott since the putsch, like the many companies controlled by the army, as well as pressure from customers to be able to withdraw money. The crackdown on protests has claimed 701 lives since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and still held incommunicado, from power, according to a count kept by the Association of assistance to political prisoners (AAPP).
“We will achieve victory, we will win”, proclaim the demonstrators
The junta for its part reported 248 dead, according to a spokesperson on Friday. The United Nations office in Burma said on Saturday evening to monitor the situation in Bago. “We are asking the security forces to allow medical teams to treat the injured,” he tweeted.
Demonstrators continued to gather despite everything, especially in Mandalay and Meiktila (center) where university students and their teachers marched through the streets this Sunday morning, according to local media. Some symbolically wore stems of eugenia flowers, called “of victory”. In the South Okkalapa suburb near Yangon, protesters waved a banner saying, “We will win, we will win. “
Fear of retaliation
A call was circulating throughout the country to demonstrate this Sunday after sunset, in the light of torches. On Saturday, bloody clashes took place in Tamu (north-west), near the border with India, when the army tried to dismantle barricades erected by demonstrators to protect their neighborhoods. The army fired live ammunition, killing two civilians, according to a witness. Protesters retaliated by throwing an explosive device into an army truck and killing a dozen soldiers, according to the same source.
“We now fear reprisals,” said the woman, adding that the people of Tamu were fighting “to end the dictatorship”. The violence also angered some of the country’s 20 or so armed ethnic factions. In Shan State (North), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) attacked a police station, according to TNLA Brigadier General Tar Bhone Kyaw, who declined to give further details.
Meanwhile, state media reported on Friday the death sentence by a military court of 19 people, including 17 in absentia, for theft or murder. They were arrested in North Okkalapa on the outskirts of Yangon, one of the six areas of the main city of the country subject to martial law, which involves a trial by a military court for anyone arrested there.