Myanmar’s ruling junta has declared martial law in parts of the country’s largest city as security forces killed dozens more protesters in an increasingly lethal crackdown on resistance to last month’s military coup.
At least 38 people were killed on Sunday and dozens were injured in one of the deadliest days since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent group tracking the toll of the violence.
Most of those killed — 34 — were in Yangon, where townships Hlaing Thar Yar and neighbouring Shwepyitha were being placed under martial law.
Video from Hlaing Thar Yar township showed people running away after gunfire was heard. Those fleeing carried one injured person and tried to revive two others, one who seemed to be dead or dying, the footage from independent Democratic Voice of Burma showed.
Hlaing Thar Yar was the location of 22 civilian deaths on Sunday, according to the aid group, which said more than a dozen civilians were wounded and described a large number of junta forces engaged in the township.
Since the takeover six weeks ago, Myanmar has been under a nationwide state of emergency, with its civilian leaders ousted and detained and military leaders in charge of all government.
But the announcement on state broadcaster MRTV late on Sunday appeared to be the first use of the term martial law since the coup and suggested more direct military control of security, instead of local police.