Over 100 people, including children, have been killed across Myanmar in one of the bloodiest days of protests since a military coup last month.
Security forces opened fire on Saturday after citizens defied warnings and took to the streets on the annual Armed Forces Day.
State television had earlier threatened to shoot protesters ‘in the head and back’.
Despite this, demonstrators came out on the streets of Yangon, Mandalay and other towns, as they have done almost daily since the coup on February 1 that ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Myanmar Now news portal said 91 people were killed across the country by security forces, but some local media reports say the death toll is as high as 106.
At least 29 people, including a 13-year-old girl, were killed in Mandalay, and at least 24 people were killed in Yangon, according to local media.
A boy as young as five was earlier reported among the dead but there were conflicting reports later that he may have survived. Another 13-year-old was among the dead in the central Sagaing region.
‘They are killing us like birds or chickens, even in our homes,’ said Thu Ya Zaw in the central town of Myingyan, where at least two protesters were killed. ‘We will keep protesting regardless… We must fight until the junta falls.’
The death toll on Saturday takes the number of civilians reportedly killed since the coup to well over 400.
It comes after a deadly protest on March 14 when estimates of the numbers killed ranged between 74 and 90.
The violence has drawn international condemnation.
The UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: ‘Today’s killing of unarmed civilians, including children, marks a new low. We will work with our international partners to end this senseless violence, hold those responsible to account, and secure a path back to democracy.’
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