With the Bago massacre, the death toll from the coup rises to 706
by Francis Khoo Thwe

On Friday, at least 82 people were killed in Bago, which came under siege in the early hours of the morning. The bodies of the dead and wounded were stacked in a pagoda and then disappeared. Raids on homes was followed by arrests and destruction. Soldiers prevented the retrieval of the bodies of those killed, as well as the treatment of the wounded. As of yesterday, 706 people have been killed following the coup d'état with 3,059 people arrested.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – The death toll from Myanmar’s coup reached 706 yesterday, the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) has reported after receiving full documentation of the massacre that took place in Bago on Friday. On that day alone, 82 people were killed.

The city of Bago (90 km northeast of Yangon) came under siege in the early hours of Friday morning. The military deployed at least 250 soldiers and used heavy artillery against protesters and barricades on Ma Ga Dit Road (picture 2).

According to rescue organisations and U Ye Htut, one of the anti-regime strike leaders, it was not possible to retrieve the bodies of those killed or offer medical care to the wounded. Soldiers opened fire on anything that moved in the street or appeared at windows.

On Saturday, following the Bago massacre, the United Nations office in Myanmar issued a statement calling for an immediate end to the violence and demanded that security forces allow medical teams to retrieve the bodies and treat the wounded.

An eyewitness told Myanmar Now that on Friday he saw dozens of bodies of people killed or injured stacked in the Zeyar Muni pagoda.

Around 11 pm, soldiers took away the bodies of the dead and wounded. From the way they shouted they seemed to be drunk. The next day the place where the bodies were laid was all clean up.

It is not known where the bodies were taken. According to locals, the military is trying to hide the bodies of the victims to avoid international criticism. According to a junta-run newspaper, only one person was killed in the Bago clashes.

From 7 am to 10 pm on Friday, the military cut off electricity in the city and raided private homes, arresting a certain number of people and damaging homes. The next day, a house to house search took place from 10 am to 3 pm.

The AAPP reported that, as of late on Sunday, 3,059 people had been detained. Of these, 64 were tried and convicted. Another 657 have been issued arrest warrants, but are on the run.

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