By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – More than 90 people, including children, were killed on Myanmar’s bloodiest day since last month’s military coup, despite appeals from local church leaders for peace.
The Catholic bishops of Myanmar, also known as Burma, repeatedly urged the military to refrain from violence and resolve the crisis through peaceful mediation.
But those appeals were ignored Saturday. The lethal crackdown in the country’s largest city of Yangon and other areas came as protesters defied warnings and took to the streets on the annual Armed Forces Day.
At least some 91 people were killed while Myanmar’s army staged a parade and other celebrations, several sources said.
Among those killed were children, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
The U.S., British, and EU officials condemned the violence in the South Asian nation. The U.S. ambassador to Myanmar, Thomas Vajda, reportedly called the bloodshed “horrifying.”
KILLED LIKE BIRDS
“They are killing us like birds or chickens, even in our homes,” Thu Ya Zaw told reporters in the central town of Myingyan. “We will keep protesting regardless.”
In Yangon, gunshots were fired at the U.S. cultural center. The U.S. embassy said those shots caused no injuries.
British Ambassador Dan Chugg agreed. “The security forces have disgraced themselves by shooting unarmed civilians,” he said in a statement.
The latest death toll came on top of the more than 300 people who AAPP said died since the February 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
The country’s ousted leader Suu Kyi and President Win Myint remain detained. The army’s coup halted Myanmar’s move toward democracy after Suu Kyi’s party came to power in 2016 following more than five decades of military rule.
While the Western world is concerned about her detention, the Nobel Peace Prize winner had come under pressure during her tenure as government leader.
The United Nations accused Myanmar’s military of a “genocidal” campaign against Rohingya Muslims but said Suu Kyi and her government did nothing to prevent it.
Since 2017 more than 730,000 Rohingya from Myanmar’s northwest Rakhine State fled to Bangladesh after a military-led crackdown in response to an attack by Muslim militants on Myanmar police posts.
Separately, minority Christians complained of attacks by the army in the Buddhist -majority nation of 57 million people.
Thousands of Christian villagers have reportedly fled bombardments in Myanmar since the coup that ousted the nation’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on February 1.
Christian aid workers told Worthy News last month that the Myanmar Army shelled the Papun and Nyaunglebin districts in the volatile Karen State.
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.