At least eight people were shot and killed by the junta’s armed forces in two Yangon townships and in the Shan State capital during a 24 hour period by Monday afternoon, Myanmar Now has been able to confirm.
The attacks on the public ranged from shots fired at demonstrations still under formation to night raids on residential neighbourhoods.
A man in his 20s was killed in Yangon’s Thaketa township on Monday morning after the regime’s troops opened fire on a crowd of people preparing to hold a rally in protest of the military, locals said.
“One was shot dead in the head. Two others suffered hand injuries. We had not even gathered yet [to start the rally]. [The armed forces] were there ahead of us and opened fire on us,” a local said.
At the time of reporting, Myanmar Now was still confirming details about the victims in Thaketa.
The regime’s troops also shot at protesters in Yangon’s South Dagon township on Monday afternoon, with locals reporting at least three casualties in the violence. At the time of publication, the crackdown in the area was ongoing, with locals as of yet unable to conclude its full impact on their community.
According to initial reports, the victims were all men: Thet Naing Tun, 40, Khin Hlaing Kha Wai Soe Thu, 27, and Nay Lin Saw, whose age was not known at the time of reporting.
In the Shan State capital of Taunggyi, a passerby was killed by the junta’s troops as he walked past a protest camp where troops were carrying out a crackdown against demonstrators. The armed forces took away his body, and his identity is not yet known.
One day earlier, the regime’s troops carried out a major crackdown on protesters in South Dagon that left three people dead by Sunday afternoon, according to area residents.
One of the casualties was 25-year-old Khine Zar Thwe, who was shot in the head.
Although rescue workers transported her to two of Yangon’s biggest public hospitals in an attempt to save her life, Khine Zar Thwe died of her injuries.
“She went out to protest every day… She tripped as she was trying to run. She was shot near the temple when she got up and looked back,” one of her relatives told Myanmar Now.
Khine Zar Thwe was a staff member at Ayeyarwady Bank, one of the largest banks in Myanmar. She was on strike in accordance with the Civil Disobedience Movement, and opposed military rule.
Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, which would have been her 26th birthday, a relative told Myanmar Now.
The armed forces returned to South Dagon on Sunday evening to destroy the barricades that had been set up by area residents to slow troops’ advances into their neighbourhoods.
Residents left their houses and entered the streets thinking that the troops had retreated. However, some remained in hiding and opened fire on the locals who dared to come outside.
One man was shot in the eye and another man was shot in the thigh, according to local residents, who added that the soldiers took the injured men away in their truck.
At around midnight on Sunday, the troops returned with the injured men who had been taken into regime custody earlier. They were dead. Soldiers left their bodies in the neighbourhood.
Residents could not retrieve the two bodies until Monday morning, as the armed forces opened fire on anyone who attempted to leave their homes.
The man who had initially been shot in the thigh had another gunshot wound to his head.
“He got the injuries to his head after he was taken away and died from those injuries,” a South Dagon local said.
The two men killed in South Dagon on Sunday were 39-year-old Pyae Phyo Maung and Maung Maung Aye, whose exact age was now known at the time of reporting, but was believed to also be in his 30s.
The regime’s shut-off of mobile data and some Wi-Fi services nationwide amid the continued brutal crackdown on anti-coup protests has made it difficult for media organisations to obtain necessary information about murders committed by the junta, and the victims of these crimes.
According to the advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 459 people have been killed since public resistance began against the military coup on February 1.
(The footage below showed that the junta’s forces were apparently using grenades in a crackdown on protesters in Yangon’s South Dagon township on March 29.)