Warning: the article contains images of extreme violence that could shock and disturb readers. Soldiers and police use lethal bullets and fire indiscriminately on the crowd without warning. According to some witnesses, light machine guns were also used. Three emergency paramedics brutally beaten by police. UN Security Council meets tomorrow as junta reveals contempt: "We are used to sanctions".
Yangon (AsiaNews) - At least 38 people were killed yesterday in Myanmar during ongoing nationwide demonstrations. The UN envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, called it "the bloodiest day", as demonstrated by the images and videos that the population is posting around the world. Deaths are reported in Monywa, Yangon, Mandalay, Salin, Myingyan, Dawei, Miytkyina.
(See below. Warning: the article contains images of extreme violence that could shock and disturb readers)
Yesterday, as almost every day, there were demonstrations and confrontations with the police and military. But what has become clear is the fact is that the security forces use not only rubber bullets, which also injure, but lethal bullets too.
Experts studying the videos of the military confirm that in addition to shotguns for rubber bullets, some soldiers also have handguns. Testimonies from Yangon claim that the military yesterday also used light machine guns.
Another fact is that they fired without warning and without receiving any prior threat.
Schraner Burgener also said she saw a video of the military beating a group of three emergency paramedics (see below).
“Save the Children” denounced that among those killed there are also two boys, aged 14 and 17.
While the population is determined to continue the civil disobedience that is crippling the country's economy (in the hands of the military), the junta is also determined to show tougher resistance.
Yesterday, Pope Francis launched a new appeal for "dialogue to prevail over repression".
Several Western countries have launched targeted sanctions against the generals; Britain has asked for a meeting of the UN Security Council for tomorrow. At a press conference, Schraner Burgener, who is in written contact with the junta, delivered their scornful message: “We are used to sanctions; we have survived them in the past”. Pointing out the risk of international isolation, the response was: "We have learned to walk with only a few friends."
The "friends" would primarily be China, for decades a supporter and financier of arms to the military dictatorship, and the ASEAN countries which, although very cautious, have called for an end to the violence and the release of political prisoners. The UN (and ASEAN) fear is that the situation could degenerate into regional instability and a "real war".