Security forces throw grenades, kill 80 protesters in Myanmar

Burmese security forces killed more than 80 pro-democracy protesters in Bago, near Rangoon (the country’s largest city), between Thursday evening (8) and Friday (9).

The information was published by the AAPP (Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners) and local media.

According to reports, troops used grenades to stop a protest against the military coup that toppled the civilian government, arrested its leaders and ruled the country since February 1.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, the main civilian leader detained during the seizure of power, has been the target of a new charge: that of violating a colonial-era law on official secrets, according to his lawyer. If convicted in this case, she faces up to 14 years in prison.

Previously, she had been charged with petty crimes, such as the illegal importation of six walkie-talkies and an alleged violation of protocols to combat the spread of the coronavirus. She is being held in an unknown location and her lawyer can only speak to her by video call.

At least 538 people had already been killed in the protests against the coup – 141 of them on Saturday (27), the bloodiest day since the start of the crisis, according to the AAPP.

As the violence escalated, several armed groups condemned the military junta’s reaction to the protests and pledged to line up with protesters calling for a return to democracy.

Groups attacked a police station in Naungmon on Saturday and killed at least ten officers, according to local press reports.

The fighters belong to the Arakan Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army.

The military junta did not respond to requests for comment by Reuters news agency.

Civilian lawmakers, many of whom have been in hiding since the coup, have announced plans to form a government of national unity – with important roles for ethnic leaders – and are organizing joint resistance to the military on the internet.

In early April, the government shut down mobile internet service in the country indefinitely, several phone companies said.

The decision to suspend the Internet does not specify the reason. It is assumed that the government has taken the step of trying to dismantle the street protests and online mobilization.

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