Tens of thousands of civilians fled the central Myanmar town of Bago after the massacre by military security forces killed at least 100 people in dawn attacks on three-day anti-regime strongholds. before, people said on Monday.
About 100,000 people have left their homes in the city and seek safe shelter in nearby villages because of the brutal repression by the military and police, they said.
A Bago woman who declined to be named said: “The people who fled their homes were residents of four neighboring areas in the city where the military forces attacked. “There must be more than 100,000 or more.”
Protest leaders said in an earlier report police and soldiers used rifle grenades and machine guns in the onslaught as they cleaned up barriers held by protesters. authorities erected, leaving piles of bodies in the ancient city ‘s temples and school grounds, protest leaders said in an earlier report.
Several residents and social assistance groups reported that security forces are demanding payment of 120,000 kyats ($ 84) before releasing dead bodies to their families.
“The families of the victims have been asked to give 120,000 kyats [U.S. $84] if they want to take the body of someone who died in the violence, ”said an anonymous volunteer social worker. “But if they go there just to examine and not request the body, they won’t be charged.”
Some of the people who paid to take the body home had to promise security they would not bring the problem up with anyone, he added.
Armed police and soldiers are stationed at temples and schools across the city, 71 kilometers (44 miles) northeast of the former capital of Myanmar and downtown Yangon, and barricades have been installed. up in the neighborhood, people said.
Security forces have ordered locals to remove Thailand-made PSI satellite TV discs as part of a broader effort to cut people’s access to information – a move according to Following crackdowns on social media, Wi-Fi and mobile Internet since the military launched a coup on February 1.
Protesters hold ‘lightning strike’
National protests intensified following the brutal assault in Bago, with “flash strikes” staged against the regime on Sunday. During night-time protests, protesters illuminated lights from their cell phones and from flashlights to show their opposition to the authorities.
At least 10 protesters and civilians were arrested at an event in Thinbawdan ward near Yandanbon shipyard in Myanmar’s second largest city, Mandalay, residents said.
They said police and soldiers broke down the fence set up to protect local people in the area before entering the area for arrest.
A local person who requested anonymity said: “Around 9:15 pm when we had this flash attack. “We heard that they are breaking down the barrier we built with three giant metal doors near Road 26. About 10 people have been arrested.”
Some of the people arrested were onlookers from nearby homes, he said, adding that protests in Mandalay continued on Monday.
In Yangon, five public transport buses parked near the School for the Blind in the town of Kyimyindaing in western Yangon, caught fire early Monday, the local said.
Around 5:00 a.m., fire trucks arrived to extinguish the fire, although the four vehicles had been completely burned down.
It is still unclear how the fire started, although military forces were seen on the school grounds during curfew from dusk to dawn.
Earlier in the night, police and soldiers shot slingshot balls at homes where residents smashed pots and pans to show disregard for the military.
In the capital Naypyidaw on Monday, authorities launched another criminal charge against deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi for violating government-mandated restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, one of her lawyers said.
Min Min Aung, a member of the state adviser’s defense team, told RFA that state prosecutor Nyi Nyi filed a new charge against her for allegedly violating Section 25 of the Disaster Management Act . The military regime had previously made similar charges against Aung San Suu Kyi under the same statute.
“Another plaintiff made the allegation based on the violation [COVID-19] The regulation issued by the Ministry of Health – violates a rule that says no more than 30 people can gather together, ”Min Min Aung said after the video conferencing hearing for Aung San Suu Kyi.
“[Mother] Ms. Suu has asked our defense team to handle all the charges against her, ”she added.
Aung San Suu Kyi currently faces six charges – five in Naypyidaw and one in Yangon. Her next hearing is scheduled for April 26.
Air strikes resumed at Tamu
Residents and local civil society groups report that in Tamu town in Sagaing region, northwestern Myanmar, police and soldiers shot and killed people amid the imposition of round-the-clock martial law.
“They shot at people who were seen on the streets all night and this morning until around 8am,” said a local, who did not want to be identified, for safety reasons. They will persecute us mercilessly. “
Security forces killed more than 20 people and arrested more than 100 others amid violent crackdowns in the border town, home to ethnic Naga rebels. Tamu is located in the Naga municipality of the Sagaing region.
After a brutal suppression of protesters on April 10, forces led by the Kukai National Organization and its armed forces, the Kuki National Army – an active insurgent group in Northeast India and Northwest Myanmar – attacked the army, killing 18 people.
Many forms of peaceful anti-military protests are taking place vigorously in other parts of Myanmar with young protesters trying to avoid direct contact with police and the military.
In neighboring Kachin state, the army continued its air raids on the town of Momauk, killing seven civilians, including women and Buddhist monks, in the battle against Kachin rebels, residents said on Monday. .
Military forces used heavy weapons and dropped fighter-bombers on nearby villages six times in the night and early morning, with several aerial attacks on homemade bomb shelters. , they say.
Some civilians have lost body parts and local support groups are unable to reach them for emergency assistance due to the conflict between Myanmar forces and the Kachin Independence Army, residents said. KIA) increasingly fierce.
Locals say at least 10 people have died in the attacks since April 10 amid increased armed conflict.
Burmese forces attacked forcefully after KIA troops swept through a military post on Towertaing Hill near Momauk’s Sihat village at around 11 p.m. on Sunday, they said. Hours later, fighters began bombing the area with heavy weapons.
“It all started before 11 p.m., but we could not look out because it was dark and there were a lot of shootings,” said a woman in Sihat, who declined to be named. “And then, the jets came and bombed five times after midnight and once in the early morning. An old woman died in our village, and we couldn’t even find a hand of her.
The bomb fell from the bomb, said the woman, on the elderly woman’s house near the Sihat villagers’ hideout.
Momauk resident Naing Lin said he and the others could see “bullets of fire piercing the dark sky”.
Shells fall on the house
In the nearby village of Shwehintha, a shell hit a house, killing a man instantly and injuring his mother, who was then taken to the hospital.
“An old woman in Sihat village was also killed by artillery, and in Katkyaw village, the monastery was completely destroyed, and the abbot was taken to the hospital for treatment,” said Naing Lin.
In addition to the two killed, another abbot and four civilians in Matkwai village lost their lives in the attack.
Residents in the affected villages said they stayed in their bomb bunkers without food until midday Monday, while others ran to safety shelters elsewhere.
Due to the ongoing fighting, it was difficult for local relief groups to reach the area, they said.
KIA spokesman Colonel Naw Bu confirmed the occupation of a military post near Sihat, and said the force had also occupied a police camp near the village of Myothit.
“There was a series of battles yesterday,” he said. “[The army post] at Towertaing Hill and a police station in Tada-Oo was made yesterday, but the details of the conflict are still unknown. ”
He added government forces bombarded the area, hit nearby villages and killed people, he added, but said he did not know the number of casualties.
The RFA was unable to contact military spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun for comment.
Fierce clashes have ensued between the KIA and five Myanmar army battalions in the region since April 10, despite government military claims earlier this month that they would maintain the ceasefire. temporarily with the nationalist armies rebelling across the country.
Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translation by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.