Myanmar protest deaths reach 320 as US, UK, impose sanctions

More protester deaths in Myanmar

On Friday evening, state television announced: "You should learn from the tragedy of earlier ugly deaths that you can be in danger of getting shot to the head and back".

The military says representatives of about 30 countries usually attend the annual ceremony.

"We have to revive that history on March 27, 2021 in this spring revolution", wrote Ei Thinzar Maung, a protest leader, in a social media post.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group, which has been tracking killings of demonstrators in Myanmar, at least 25% of protester deaths have come from shots to the head.

Protesters against the February 1 military coup came out on the streets of Yangon, Mandalay and other towns, defying a warning that they could be shot "in the head and back", while the country's generals celebrated Armed Forces Day.

Other media outlets reported that at least five people sustained bullet wounds when security forces opened fire on protests in other towns.

The funeral of a seven-year-old girl killed on Tuesday - who becomes the youngest known victim of the crackdown - took place on Wednesday in Mandalay. She was at her home with her father when she was killed.

Protesters run during a protest against military coup and detention of elected government members in Hlaing Thayar Township, Yangon, Myanmar on March 15, 2021.

It said 11 people were killed on Thursday, when it also managed to verify 23 deaths that had occurred previously. But more than 600 protesters were released Wednesday from Insein prison in the main city of Yangon in an apparent goodwill gesture by the junta.

But protesters elsewhere returned to the streets, including in the second-largest city Mandalay, where crowds carried Suu Kyi's party flag and flashed the three-finger salute that has been adopted as a symbol of resistance to military rule.

More protester deaths in Myanmar
Petronas hopes for peaceful resolution in Myanmar political scene

Min Aung Hlaing said the army had to seize power because of "unlawful acts" by Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy, adding that some party leaders had been found guilty of corruption and legal action was being taken against them.

"We do not know who did this, but it is not good at all", Soe Win, an NLD member in charge of the headquarters, told AFP.

Global condemnation from the UN, United States and former colonial power Britain has done little to quell the violent crackdowns.

"Today the United States is taking its most significant action to date to impose costs on the military regime", said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a statement Thursday.

"They are not directed at the people of Burma".

After presiding over a military parade in the capital Naypyitaw to mark Armed Forces Day, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing reiterated a promise to hold elections without giving any timeframe.

The parade was a show of force for the Tatmadaw, with military vehicles, firepower and soldiers marching in formation.

Conditions in Myanmar were deteriorating and likely get much worse without an "immediate, robust, global response in support of those under siege", he said, calling for an emergency summit on the crisis. During her 2012 visit to Myanmar, Power harbored prescient concerns about Aung San Suu Kyi's disinclination to prioritize the rights of Myanmar's persecuted minorities.

The country has been in turmoil since the military detained Suu Kyi and other officials, citing allegations of fraud in the November election won by the NLD.

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