The latest count came as security forces shot and killed three other anti-junta protesters on Friday. “Two were shot in the head,” said a witness who saw police open fire on protesters waving black flags in the southern town of Myeik.
“We cannot take the [third] corpse because many security forces are there, ”the witness told Reuters, adding that several other people were injured.
Nearly 3,000 people have also been arrested, charged or convicted in the crackdown since the February 1 coup that overthrew the elected government. Most, including its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the country’s president, Win Myint, remain in detention.
The continued violence came as around 300 prisoners arrested for protesting the coup were released on Friday, a witness and national media said.
Six buses full of passengers came out of Insein prison in Yangon, a witness and ElevenMyanmar media reported.
Demonstrations continued to take place across the country overnight and Friday, including in the Mandalay and Sagaing areas and in Karen and Chin states, media reported.
A group of around 100 drumming people staged a protest in Yangon’s central Sule district before security forces chased them away, witnesses said.
The army’s seizure of power put an end to Myanmar’s democratic movement that began when Aung San Suu Kyi’s party took office in 2016 for its first term after more than five decades of military rule.
The movement against the junta and its takeover received a major boost on Thursday when the United States and Britain announced tough sanctions against two military-owned conglomerates.
The US Treasury Department said it was targeting Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company Limited and Myanmar Economic Corporation Limited.
The two are part of an army-controlled network that covers sectors from mining to tourism and has made the generals rich. Representatives of the two entities did not immediately comment.
In a move coordinated with Washington, Britain – the former colonial power – said it would also target Myanmar Economic Holdings, citing human rights violations against civilians and its association with senior military officials.
Washington said its action was aimed at military control over large parts of the country’s economy, “which is a vital financial lifeline for the military junta.”
Sanctions against the two companies and their holdings block access to all the properties they control in the United States and effectively prevent American individuals from doing business with them.
Myanmar’s civil disobedience movement is also targeting the economy in order to make it difficult for the junta to rule. He called for public sector strikes, bank closings and divestments by foreign companies.
The World Bank has reduced its forecast for the country’s economy to a 10% contraction in 2021 from previously expected growth.
Agencies contributed to this article