Burma: 43 people, including 20 military personnel, killed in clashes

Burma: 43 people, including 20 military personnel, killed in clashes

At least 23 opponents of the military coup on February 1 and 20 members of the Army died this Saturday in different parts of the country, in the bloodiest day in almost two months, local media reported this Sunday.

The point with the highest number of civilian casualties was the Ayeryawady region, in the west of the country, where at least 20 residents died and several were injured after confronting the Army with homemade slingshots and gas pistols, reported the agencies Delta News and Khit. Thit Media.

The clash occurred in the town of Kyonpyaw, 150 kilometers northwest of Rangoon, when the villagers clashed with a group of soldiers who wanted to search the home of a neighbor accused of hiding weapons.

These victims are joined by the two civilians who died last night in Shwe Nyaung, in the Shan state (to the east) after being shot by motorcycles, while three others were arrested, according to Khit Thit Media.

On the other hand, the Karennis Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF in English), the armed group that leads the clashes against the Army in the eastern state of Kayah, announced in a statement that a member of this guerrilla group and 20 soldiers died after the crashes of yesterday.

The clashes that began in April and continue to this day between the Armed Forces and the rebels of this Karenni Army, together with groups of armed civilians, have forced around 46,000 people to take refuge in the jungle and camps for internally displaced persons.

On the other hand, in Magwe, in the der Yaw region, around 50,000 people have been displaced due to the takeover of the area by the Army, according to the Myanmar Now portal yesterday.

The clashes, which accounted for the highest death toll in a day since the beginning of April, occurred despite the fact that the Burmese Army extended the ceasefire with ethnic guerrillas last Monday until the end of June.

The Tatmadaw, as the Burmese Armed Forces are known, suspended “all military operations” until June 30 with the exception of those occasions when the security forces or the state administration were attacked.

In addition to these violent episodes, this Sunday protests against the military junta continued in various parts of the country, including Rangoon and Mandalay -the most populated cities- and Naipyidó, more than four months after a coup that has not achieved stability. that the military expected for the country.

At least 847 people have lost their lives after the coup as a result of the brutal repression by the security forces against peaceful demonstrations, according to figures from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners.

The Army justifies the coup by an alleged electoral fraud in the November elections, in which the party of the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi destroyed, as it did in 2015, and which have the endorsement of international observers.

Ben Oakley
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