YANGON, Myanmar – As Myanmar’s military celebrated Armed Forces Day on Saturday with a parade in the capital, scores of soldiers and police in other parts of the country were killed while suppressing protests, reportedly on the longest day. bloody since the military coup.

According to the count of an independent researcher in Yangon who has compiled death figures in near real time, 93 people had died in about 20 cities and towns by nightfall. The online news site Myanmar Now gave the death toll of 91.

The figures of the investigator, who asked that he not be identified for security reasons, have generally coincided with those published at the end of each day by the Association for Aid to Political Prisoners, which keeps track of arrests and deaths and considers itself the source. more reliable. The Associated Press cannot independently confirm the figures.

The massacre was immediately the subject of international condemnations. Several diplomatic missions in Myanmar mentioned the killings of civilians, including children, in statements issued on Saturday.

“This 7670 day of Myanmar’s armed forces will be recorded as a day of terror and disgrace,” the European Union delegation to Myanmar tweeted. “The killing of unarmed civilians, including children, is an unjustifiable act.”

The death toll in Myanmar continues to rise as the authorities step up their crackdown on the opposition to the February 1 coup that toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup nullified years of progress toward democracy after decades of military rule.

A nun knelt in front of security forces in Myanmar in an effort to quell violence against protesters.

As of Friday, the Association for Aid to Political Prisoners had verified the figure of 328 dead in the repression since the coup.

The leader of the military junta, General Min Aung Hlaing did not directly address the protests that show no signs of stopping.

In a message televised throughout the country before thousands of soldiers in a massive parade in the capital, Naipyidó, he referred only to “terrorism that can be harmful to the tranquility of the State and to social security”, and considered it unacceptable.

Inhabitants of cities and towns across Myanmar took advantage of the holiday to protest again against the coup on February 1. In several locations, security elements tried to disperse the protesters by force, something that has become a frequent practice.Several reports on social networks, which have not yet been verified, denounced the shooting deaths of several protesters. Saturday morning.

Physical education teacher Khing Hnin Wai posted the video on her Facebook. It is one of the few images of the military coup d’état after the blocking of Facebook and other messaging services.

The association warned that its count includes only verified cases, so the actual number of deaths “is probably much higher.” He added that eight people were killed on Friday.

Protesters refer to the holiday by its original name, Resistance Day, which marks the beginning of a revolt against the Japanese occupation in World War II. This year’s event was considered a source of tension, in which the protesters threaten to redouble their public protests against the coup with more constant and numerous marches.

State television, MRTV, showed an ad on Friday night urging young people – who have been at the forefront of protests and are more prominent to be attacked – to learn a lesson from those who have died in the protests about the risks of being shot in the head or in the back.

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