Yangon: Six protesters were killed in Myanmar on Thursday as the United Nations condemned the growing violence against anti-coup demonstrations.
International pressure has been building steadily since the military ousted and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, triggering daily protests across the country.
More than 2,000 people have been arrested and the death toll has climbed to more than 60 in the post-coup crackdown.
In central Myanmar’s Myaing township, six people were killed on Thursday as security forces cracked down on a protest.
“Six men were shot dead while eight people were wounded – with one man in critical condition,” a rescue worker told AFP.
A witness told AFP five of them were shot in the head.
The UN Security Council unanimously agreed on a statement Wednesday condemning the Myanmar military’s use of violence against peaceful protesters.
It was the second time in just over a month that the council’s 15 members, including China — a traditional ally of Myanmar’s generals — made a rare show of unity over the crisis.
“Now it’s time for de-escalation. It’s time for diplomacy. It’s time for dialogue,” said Zhang Jun, China’s UN ambassador.
The United States also applied fresh pressure with sanctions against two adult children of junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing.
And the Asian Development Bank announced it had temporarily suspended funding for government projects in Myanmar “as the international community assesses the evolving situation”.
In the Sanchaung township in Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial hub, people had another sleepless night as security forces raided apartments searching for lost police weapons.
“They used sound bombs on every street,” said one resident.
“We are asking friends who are outside of their homes not to come back here tonight because of the situation.” Sanchaung has been a flashpoint of tensions all week.
On Monday night, security forces sealed off a block of streets, confining around 200 anti-coup protesters before searching apartments. AFP