Myanmar massacre: Boy, five, killed as troops open fire on pro-democracy march and death toll soars to 114

2 months ago 19

A FIVE-year-old boy has been killed as troops opened fire on a pro-democracy march in Myanmar today.

Soldiers and cops reportedly killed more than 100 people as they protested against last month's military coup.

Soldiers and cops reportedly killed protesters in Myanmar today

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Soldiers and cops reportedly killed protesters in Myanmar todayCredit: AFP

Streets were left burning during the protests

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Streets were left burning during the protestsCredit: Getty

Demonstrators were protesting Myanmar's military coup

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Demonstrators were protesting Myanmar's military coupCredit: Getty

Wild scenes erupted on the streets

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Wild scenes erupted on the streetsCredit: AFP

Protesters set fire to tires on a road to slow the progress of security forces

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Protesters set fire to tires on a road to slow the progress of security forcesCredit: Getty

The death toll during demonstrations since the coup on February 1 has now reached nearly 400.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Myanmar today during one of the bloodiest days since the military coup.

Meanwhile, the country's generals celebrated Armed Forces Day.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned today's killings.

He tweeted: "Today’s killing of unarmed civilians, including children, marks a new low. 

"We will work with our international partners to end this senseless violence, hold those responsible to account, and secure a path back to democracy."

The killings quickly drew international condemnation, with multiple diplomatic missions to Myanmar releasing statements that mentioned the killing of civilians Saturday, including children.

"This 76th Myanmar armed forces day will stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonour," the European Union's delegation to Myanmar tweeted.

"The killing of unarmed civilians, including children, are indefensible acts."

United States Ambassador Thomas Vajda said in a statement: "Security forces are murdering unarmed civilians.

"These are not the actions of a professional military or police force.

"Myanmar's people have spoken clearly: they do not want to live under military rule."

The death toll in Myanmar has been steadily rising as authorities grow more forceful with their suppression of opposition to the February 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The coup reversed years of progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule.

Junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing did not directly refer to the protest movement when he gave his nationally televised Armed Forces Day speech before thousands of soldiers in Naypyitaw.

He referred only to "terrorism which can be harmful to state tranquility and social security", and called it unacceptable.

Myanmar was taken over by a military coup last month

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Myanmar was taken over by a military coup last monthCredit: Getty

Hundreds of protesters have reportedly been killed

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Hundreds of protesters have reportedly been killedCredit: Getty

Demonstrators were fired on by soldiers and cops

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Demonstrators were fired on by soldiers and copsCredit: AFP

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned today's killings

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UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned today's killingsCredit: Twitter

This year's event was seen as a flashpoint for violence, with demonstrators threatening to double down on their public opposition to the coup with more and bigger demonstrations.

The protesters refer to the holiday by its original name, Resistance Day, which marks the beginning of a revolt against Japanese occupation in World War II.

State television station MRTV showed an announcement urging young people who have been at the forefront of the protests to 'learn a lesson' from those killed during demonstrations about the danger of being shot in the head or back.

The warning was widely taken as a threat because a high number of the deaths among protesters have come from being shot in the head.

The announcement suggested that some young people were taking part in protesting as if it was a 'game,' and urged their parents and friends to talk them out of being involved.

The junta has recently portrayed the demonstrators as the ones perpetrating violence for their sporadic use of Molotov cocktails.

On Saturday, some protesters in Yangon were seen carrying bows and arrows.

In contrast, security forces have used live ammunition for weeks against what have still been overwhelmingly unarmed and peaceful crowds.

The U.S. Embassy said shots were fired Saturday at its cultural center in Yangon, though no one was injured.

In his speech today, Min Aung Hlaing used the occasion to try to justify the overthrow of Suu Kyis government, accusing it of failing to investigate irregularities in last November's general election/

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He also said his government would hold a free and fair election and hand over power afterwars.

The military has claimed there were irregularities in the voting rolls for the last election, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won in a landslide.

The junta detained Suu Kyi on the day it took power, and continues to hold her on minor criminal charges while investigating allegations of corruption against her that her supporters have dismissed as politically motivated.

Cops fire on protesters in Myanmar killing at least 18 on deadliest day of anti-coup rallies

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