'At least 89 dead' as Myanmar security forces open fire

Myanmar Protests Continue On Deadliest Day Since Coup

The defense chiefs of a dozen nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, issued ajoint statement Saturday calling for an end to violence by the military against unarmed civilians in Myanmar.

The top military officer from the USA and almost a dozen of his counterparts said a professional military must follow global standards for conduct "and is responsible for protecting - not harming - the people it serves".

"U.N. Security Council member states' continued refusal to meaningfully act against this never-ending horror is contemptible", said Ming Yu Hah, the organization's deputy regional director for campaigns.

A tally by the independent Myanmar Now news portal reported 114 people killed across 44 towns and cities, while a count by The Irrawaddy put the toll at 59 dead, among them three children aged 7, 10 and 13 years. But Myanmar's generals have enjoyed some support from Russian Federation and China, both veto-holding members of the UN Security Council that could block any potential UN action.

"Junta forces shot machine guns into residential areas, resulting in many civilians, including six children between ten and sixteen years old, killed", AAPP said.

The death toll from crackdowns since the 1 February coup has climbed to at least 459, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group.

He tweeted: "It is the task of security forces to protect the population".

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Funeral services were also held on Sunday for some of the victims of Saturday's events.

Foreign criticism and sanctions imposed by some Western nations have failed so far to sway the generals, as have nearly daily protests around the country since the junta took power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He added: "The courageous people of Burma reject the military's reign of terror".

In recent days, the junta has portrayed the demonstrators as the ones perpetrating violence for their sporadic use of Molotov cocktails.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was shocked by the killings of civilians, including children. Activists said that at least three people were killed, in what was the first aerial assault in 20 years in the state. On Saturday, some protesters in Yangon were seen carrying bows and arrows.

"The shameful, cowardly, brutal actions of the military and police - who have been filmed shooting at protesters as they flee, and who have not even spared young children - must be halted immediately", United Nations envoys Alice Wairimu Nderitu and Michelle Bachelet said in a joint statement. "Totally unnecessary." Biden said his administration is working on a response but offered no details. Human rights group Amnesty International also criticized the hesitancy to do more.

The Security Council has condemned the violence but not advocated concerted action against the junta, such as a ban on selling it arms.

Defiant protesters were back on the streets Sunday, with demonstrations held in the two biggest cities of Yangon and Mandalay, some of which were again met by force. About 3,000 villagers from territory controlled by the Karen fled across the border to Thailand on Sunday after Myanmar military aircraft dropped bombs on a Karen guerrilla position, said workers for two humanitarian relief agencies.

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