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Over 500 killed since Myanmar coup: Rights group

 YANGOON:More than 500 people have been killed in a military crackdown against anti-coup protesters in Myanmar, according to a human rights group.


The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said the latest killing of 51 protesters by police and security forces brought the total number to 510.


“Children, students, youths, and civilians have all been killed since the coup,” said the association, an independent non-profit organization founded by former Burmese political prisoners living in exile, in a daily report updated on Monday.


The Thailand-based group said the military junta opened fire in South Dagon township in Yangon region, where two men were killed, with one of them shot dead in the head.


“The other was hit in the thigh by gunshot, he could not run away due to injury, so the military and so-called police detained and threatened those who came to help the victim,” it said.


A one-and-half-year-old toddler was shot in his ear in South Dagon, while two men were shot to death in Tharkayta township and at least six others were injured in the crackdown, according to the report.


Meanwhile, a women’s group said Thai military forced thousands of ethnic Karen people seeking refuge in Thailand to return.


“Thai military forced over 2,000 Karen refugees, who crossed the Salween River to take refuge on the land of Thailand in order to avoid potential Burma Military air strike attack, to go back to their land, the killing zone where the Burma Military’s jets are bombing,” Karen Women’s Organization said in a statement.


Earlier on Sunday, the group said the attack on Karen state caused more than 10,000 people to flee and hide in the forest and more than 3,000 crossed to Thailand to take refuge.



 Last month, Myanmar’s army ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. In response to the coup, civilian groups across the country launched a civil disobedience campaign with mass demonstrations and sit-ins.


As a result of the ongoing chaos in the Buddhist-majority country, a shoe-wear manufacturing company from Taiwan has suspended its business in Myanmar.


Pou Chen Corp told Focus Taiwan in a statement said it suspended production in Myanmar “for safety reasons amid the political chaos.”


It added the halt in production will not affect its business as Myanmar units of the company “account for a small fraction of the company’s total production.”


The unit provides footwear services to international brands such as Nike, Adidas, Asics, New Balance, Timberland, and Salomon.

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