Myanmar death toll tops 500 as protesters defy junta’s forces

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Myanmar security forces killed at least five protesters on Monday, three of them in the main city of Yangon, witnesses and media reported, as activists called on ethnic minority forces in the diverse nation to back their campaign against military rule.

After the bloodiest day since the Feb. 1 military coup with 114 deaths on Saturday, thousands took to the streets in towns across the country, determined to show their opposition to the relapse into military rule after a decade of democratic reform.

At least two people were killed in the Yangon district of South Dagon when security forces moved in to clear protesters’ barricades, residents said.

“We can confirm two were killed in our ward,” said one neighbourhood resident who asked to be identified as just Win.

Security forces fired a much heavier-calibre weapon than usual to clear a barricade in South Dagon, witnesses said and a video clip showed. It was not immediately clear what type, although a community group posted a picture of a soldier with a grenade launcher.

State television said security forces used “riot weapons” to disperse a crowd of “violent terrorist people” who were destroying a pavement and one man was wounded.

via Reuters