Myanmar’s post-coup civilian death toll climbs past 700
YANGON, Apr 11: A security guard was wounded in a bomb blast outside a military-owned bank in Myanmar's second-biggest city Sunday morning, as the civilian death toll from the junta's brutal crackdown on dissent topped more than 700 at the weekend.
The country has been in turmoil since the military removed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.
Myawaddy Bank's biggest branch in Mandalay was targeted on Sunday morning and a security guard was injured in the explosion, according to local media. There was a heavy security presence in the area following the blast.
The bank is one of scores of military-controlled businesses that have faced boycott pressure since the coup, with many customers demanding to withdraw their savings.
There has been heavy bloodletting in recent days.
On Saturday a local monitoring group said security forces gunned down and killed 82 anti-coup protesters the previous day in the city of Bago, 65 kilometres (40 miles) northeast of Yangon.
AFP-verified footage shot early Friday showed protesters hiding behind sandbag barricades wielding homemade rifles, as explosions were heard in the background.
The United Nations office in Myanmar tweeted late Saturday that it was following the bloodshed in Bago, where it said medical treatment had been denied to the injured.
Overall the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has verified 701 civilian deaths since the putsch.
The junta has a far lower number: 248, according to a spokesman Friday.
Despite the bloodshed, protesters continued to rally in parts of the country. -AFP