‘Day of shame’: Dozens of anti-coup protesters killed in Myanmar

Dozens of demonstrators shot dead as military government puts on a show to mark annual Armed Forces Day.

Video Transcript

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TONY CHANG: The inconsolable cry of a father, his dead son in his arms. The 13-year-old boy was shot at his home in Schwebo, central Myanmar as the security forces moved in. Myanmar's largest city Yangon looked and sounded like a battle zone. The soldiers and police roamed the streets, burning barricades, firing stun grenades and live rounds.

This wounded man was dragged visibly bleeding into the road. Rather than help or provide first aid, the soldiers beat him as he laid in a pool of his own blood. In the southern city of Dawei, these three men on a motorcycle are shot at random as they pass police trucks. Two manage to get to their feet and flee, a third wounded, trapped beneath his bike. And those wounded or killed, dragged away, unceremoniously, to be bundled into army trucks.

All of this on a day meant to celebrate Myanmar's armed forces. But celebrate they did. Outside the capital Naypyitaw, on an enormous parade ground, an awe-inspiring display of military hardware and might. The junta leader in his address avoided the fact these soldiers are now fighting their own people, and reinforced his statement that members of the army are the guardians of democracy.

INTERPRETER: The armed forces unavoidably assume the state responsibility by lawful means due to the unlawful acts of the NLD-led government in the 2020 election. After the accomplishment of the state of emergency provision, a free and fair election will be re-run. And the handover of state responsibility will be continued.

TONY CHANG: While the military has faced little opposition so far, Myanmar's armed ethnic groups have been threatening to intervene if the violence continues.

INTERPRETER: If they continue to shoot at protesters and bully the people, I think all ethnic groups would not just stand by and do nothing. But it's civilians who now face the military's wrath.

TONY CHANG: Seven-year-old [INAUDIBLE] was shot in the head inside his home in Mandalay. Don't worry. Everything will be OK, but don't sleep, say his parents, as they try to treat his wound. Children are now facing the full might of Myanmar's military machine. Tony Chang, Al Jazeera.