Myanmar coup: Generals celebrated amid global fury over massacre

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The killing of more than 90 anti-coup protesters in Myanmar has drawn global outrage, with defence ministers of 12 nations condemning the military.

The US accused the security forces of a “reign of terror” on Saturday, the deadliest day since last month’s coup.

Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing and his generals still threw a lavish party that night for Armed Forces Day.

On Sunday, funerals were held, with some reports the military had tried to intervene in the mourning.

More than 400 people have now been killed in the suppression of protests in Myanmar since the 1 February coup.

The military seized control of the South East Asian country after an election which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won by a landslide.

What has been the international response?

The defence chiefs of a dozen nations, including the UK, on Sunday issued a rare joint statement condemning the military’s violent actions.

The US, Japan and Australia were also among the signatories of a statement that said: “A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people it serves.”

The US said it was “horrified” by the killings. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the military of “sacrificing the lives of the people to serve the few.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply shocked” by the violence, and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called it a “new low”.

UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews called for an international emergency summit.

China and Russia have not joined the criticism, which means taking action through the UN Security Council – where they have vetoes – could be difficult.

What’s the latest on the streets?

On Sunday, families held funerals for some of those killed the day before.

One was for Kyaw Win Maung, who was shot dead in Mandalay.

Another service in the city was held for Aye Ko, a father of four.

“We are told by the neighbours that Aye Ko was shot and thrown into the fire,” one relative told AFP news agency. “He was the only one who fed the family, losing him is a great loss for the family.”

Reports from Myanmar are difficult to confirm, but some local media said security forces had tried to intervene in funerals. Burmese-language outlet The Irrawaddy said police tried to arrest people at a service for a student union member killed in the town of Phaya-Gyi.

Protests are also reported to be continuing despite Saturday’s crackdown, with rallies in towns including Katha and Hsipaw.


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