KOMPAS.com - Thirty-eight people were killed Wednesday across Myanmar in another day of demonstrations against the country’s military junta, according to the United Nations.
The U.N. special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, confirmed Wednesday’s death toll, telling reporters as she spoke from New York, “It was the bloodiest day since the coup happened on the first of February.”
Six people were killed in the central town of Monywa, according to witnesses and media reports. Other protesters were killed in the second-largest city of Mandalay, the northern town of Hpakant and the central town of Myingyan.
Security forces used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowds, with witnesses saying live ammunition was also used against the protesters.
Several people were reportedly injured, among them reporter Htet Aung Khant with VOA’s Burmese service, who was hit by rubber bullets under his arm as he covered the protests.
Myanmar has been mired in chaos and violence since the military’s February 1 overthrow of the civilian government and the detentions of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other high-ranking officials.
More than 20 people across the country have been killed in the unrest, including 18 people last Sunday, according to the United Nations’ human rights office.
The escalating violence has drawn the scorn of Myanmar's regional neighbors and the international community at large.
Members of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, held an informal meeting via videoconference Tuesday to discuss the situation with their Myanmar counterpart.