Myanmar security forces mowed down more than 60 people with rifle grenades and machine guns as they cleared barricades built by anti-junta protesters in the central Myanmar city of Bago on Friday, leaving piles of bodies in pagodas and on school grounds of the ancient city, witnesses said.
Police and soldiers rained bullets and grenades on the streets of the Otthar Thiri ward of Bago, a city of 250,000 people and capital of the region of the same name, starting before dawn. The barricades were built by protesters who reject the Feb. 1 military overthrow of the country’s elected government.
“Our people in the ward knew they would be coming and had been waiting the whole night,” one resident who declined to give his name told RFA. “The soldiers used heavy weapons. We even found a mortar shell. There was a lot of machine-gun fire.”
“In addition to live rounds, the soldiers were said to be using grenade launchers,” the resident said.
The death toll was expected to rise as security forces were firing all day, taking shots as passersby on streets empty of traffic, other witnesses said. The attack on the barricade came after a two-day lull in protests.
Other local residents told RFA they were able to retrieve only three dead bodies by 8 p.m. and that soldiers carried away bodies piled up in the compound of the Zeyamuni Pagoda and at a nearby school.
The State Administration Council, the ruling junta set up after Aung San Suu Kyi and her elected government were ousted and parliament dissolved, had no comments about the Bago bloodshed.
Full story: rfa.org
Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.
Copyright © 1998-2021, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.