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MYANMAR’S military junta warned that more people could be killed as a general strike paralysed the country today in support of the opposition civil-disobedience movement.
In a message broadcast in both Burmese and broken English on Sunday night, it had warned the public against supporting today’s strike, accusing protesters of encouraging people “towards [a] riot and anarchy mob.”
“Protesters are now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths, to a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life,” according to the junta.
It justified the use of deadly force against the thousands who have taken to the streets since the military seized power on February 1, overthrowing and jailing leading figures of the government including National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The coup leaders said that “criminals” had incited violence and that “security forces had to fire back.”
But the threats had a limited impact, as most major towns and cities were gridlocked today as workers heeded the call for a mass national walkout.
Hawkish US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has warned of consequences for the military leaders.
“The United States will continue to take firm action against those who perpetrate violence against the people of Burma as they demand the restoration of their democratically elected government. We stand with the people of Burma,” he said today.
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