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Myanmar: Boy, 5, amongst over 100 dead after security forces open fire
28 March 2021, 09:22 | Updated: 28 March 2021, 09:23
A five-year-old boy is reportedly among more than 100 killed by Myanmar's security forces in the deadliest day of protests since the coup.
Soldiers opened fire as pro-democracy protesters demonstrated against the February 1 military takeover, despite a warning they would be "shot in the head and back" during Armed Forces Day.
Despite the threats, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Yangon, Mandalay and other towns as Generals held a lavish parade in celebration of their forces.
The five-year-old boy was one of 13 people gunned down in Mandalay while at least 91 people were shot and killed in Yangon.
A 13-year-old girl was also reportedly killed elsewhere.
Local news site Myanmar Now reported that the death toll from Saturday had reached 114.
The protesters referred to Armed Forces Day by its original name, Resistance Day, which marked the beginning of a revolt against Japanese occupation in World War II.
The day before, State television station MRTV showed an announcement telling young people involved in the protests to "learn a lesson" from the those killed.
The total death toll of protesters has now surpassed 400 since the coup almost two months ago.
Junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing did not refer to the protests during his televised speech to thousands of soldiers.
He referred only to "terrorism which can be harmful to state tranquility and social security", before declaring it to be "unacceptable".
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted what happened on Saturday marked a "new low".
He said: "Today’s killing of unarmed civilians, including children, marks a new low.
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. https://t.co/PfHZ3xipzt— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) March 27, 2021
"We will work with our international partners to end this senseless violence, hold those responsible to account, and secure a path back to democracy."
British Ambassador to Myanmar Dan Chugg said: "On Myanmar's Armed Forces Day, the security forces have disgraced themselves by shooting unarmed civilians"
He added: "At a time of economic crisis, Covid, and a worsening humanitarian situation, today's military parade and extrajudicial killings speak volumes for the priorities of the military junta."
US ambassador to Myanmar Thomas Vajda was among world representatives condemning what was happening.
"On Myanmar's Armed Forced Day, security forces are murdering unarmed civilians, including children, the very people they swore to protect," he wrote on social media.
"This bloodshed is horrifying. These are not the actions of a professional military or police force.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington was "horrified" by the killings, and criticised "the military's reign of terror."
"We are horrified by the bloodshed perpetrated by Burmese security forces, showing that the junta will sacrifice the lives of the people to serve the few," he tweeted.
"The courageous people of Burma reject the military's reign of terror."
The United Nations in Myanmar has stated: "The violence is completely unacceptable and must stop immediately. Those responsible must be held to account."