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Myanmar’s capital have been put under martial law as the number of deaths continues to increase.

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Myanmar's capital have been put under martial law as the number of deaths continues to increase.
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Myanmar's capital have been put under martial law as the number of deaths continues to increase.

Myanmar’s capital have been put under martial law as the number of deaths continues to increase.

 

Myanmar’s ruling junta has proclaimed martial law in parts of the country’s largest city, as security forces continue to destroy demonstrators in a brutal crackdown on opposition to the military coup last month.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent organisation monitoring the toll of the repression, at least 38 people were killed and hundreds were wounded on Sunday, one of the deadliest days of the crackdown.

The majority of those killed — 34 — were in Yangon, where martial law had been enforced on two townships, Hlaing Thar Yar and neighboring Shwepyitha.

People running away after gunfire was heard in the Hlaing Thar Yar township, according to video. According to footage from the independent Democratic Voice of Burma, those fleeing carried one wounded person and attempted to revive two others, one of whom appeared to be dead or dying.

According to the aid organization, 22 civilians were killed and more than a dozen were injured in Hlaing Thar Yar on Sunday. The township was also home to a large number of junta troops.

Myanmar has been in a state of emergency since the takeover six weeks ago, with civilian leaders arrested and military leaders in charge of the entire country. However, the announcement on state television MRTV late Sunday seemed to be the first use of the word martial law since the coup, and it indicated that the military would be in charge of security rather than local police.

The State Administrative Council took steps to strengthen security and restore law and order, according to the announcement, and the Yangon regional commander has been granted administrative, judicial, and military powers in the area under his command.

According to the help organization and local media, four more deaths were recorded in Bago, Mandalay, and the northern city of Hpakant in Kachin state.

In Yangon, video posted on social media showed crowds of people running down a street amid gunshots, some wearing hard hats and gas masks. As they fled, the demonstrators sprayed vapor from fire extinguishers, a popular technique for smothering tear gas and creating a vapor barrier that makes it harder for police to chase or shoot demonstrators.

In other areas of Yangon, including Insein district, where billows of black smoke could be seen after security forces allegedly set roadblocks on fire, there were also reports of casualties from live rounds and rubber bullets.

Anti-coup protesters used the cover of darkness on Saturday and Sunday nights to stage mass candlelight vigils in a Yangon commercial area where they typically held daytime demonstrations. In Mandalay and elsewhere, after-dark rallies were also held.

From the beginning, the protest movement has been based on nonviolent civil disobedience, with marches and general strikes being among its most prominent features. However, some demonstrators have called for more effective, more flexible self-defense tactics, such as conducting small protests that disband and reassemble quickly, and creating cover with fire extinguishers and billowing laundry.

On Saturday, Myanmar’s government in exile’s civilian leader vowed to continue promoting a “revolution” to depose the military leaders who seized power in a Feb. 1 coup. For the first time since the coup, Mahn Win Khaing Than, who is a member of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party and was elected acting vice president by Myanmar’s ousted lawmakers, addressed the public.

In a video posted on the shadow government’s website and social media, he said, “This is the nation’s darkest hour, and the moment that the dawn is near.”

“This revolution is the chance for us to bring our energies together in order to form a federal democracy, which all ethnic brothers who have been enduring various forms of oppression from the dictatorship for decades truly desired,” he said.

“We will never submit to an oppressive military,” he said, “but we will carve our future together with our collective power.” “We must complete our mission.”

He flashed the three-finger salute at the end of the post, which has become a sign of resistance to military rulers.

The number of civilians killed by security forces since the coup appears to have reached 100, according to the aid group’s count. Due to the country’s security situation and a crackdown on independent media, confirmation is virtually impossible, but different organisations have carefully compiled tallies with identical estimates.

The real death toll is possibly higher, as police seem to have seized some bodies, and some victims have suffered severe bullet wounds that makeshift hospitals would struggle to treat. Many hospitals are occupied by security forces, and as a result, medical staff boycott them and demonstrators avoid them.

As an intimidation tactic, police have also patrolled suburban areas at night, shooting into the air and using stun grenades. They’ve even removed people from their homes with no opposition in targeted raids. The inmates died in detention within hours of being taken away in at least two reported instances.

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