Families plan funerals, children reported among Myanmar dead

Monitoring group says three children among 74 killed on Sunday, with 20 more deaths reported on Monday.

Waiting relatives gather outside the morgue as the body of an anti-coup protester is transported at Thingangyun Hospital in Yangon [Reuters]

The families of dozens of people killed during anti-coup protests in Myanmar were preparing to hold funerals after a night of candle-lit vigils as a monitoring group said that three children were among the dead on Sunday and at least 20 more people were killed in violence on Monday.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which has been tracking arrests and deaths since the February 1 coup, said at least three children, including a 15-year-old girl, were among 74 people killed on Sunday, the bloodiest day since the anti-coup protests began last month.

At least 20 people were shot dead by security forces on Monday, it added.

“Casualties are drastically increasing,” the group said in a statement, adding that it had confirmed a total of 183 deaths since the protests began. It was not possible to independently verify the casualties.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was appalled by the escalating violence “at the hands of the country’s military” and called on the international community to help end the repression, his spokesman said.

With the death toll increasing, protesters have begun to hold candlelit vigils [Reuters]

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets since the military arrested elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her government on February 1 and seized power claiming fraud in last November’s election.

Candle-lit vigils continued overnight in parts of Yangon and Mandalay and some other towns, according to media reports and photographs on social media, with funerals for those killed due to take place on Tuesday.

The AAPP said some 2,175 people had been arrested, charged or sentenced since the military seized power and 1,856 remain in custody.

Six districts of Yangon are now under martial law as a result of Sunday’s violence, which means that anyone arrested there faces trial in a military tribunal rather than a civilian court. Sentences range from three years’ hard labour to execution.

The generals have also moved to tighten restrictions on the use of mobile data, making it more difficult for people at the protests to share photos and videos of what has taken place.

Netblocks, a London-based group that tracks internet outages, said on Tuesday that while fixed line wifi connectivity had been restored on Tuesday morning following the 30th nightly blackout, mobile internet had not been connected.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies