Via Europe Solidaire

At least 18 members of Myanmar’s security forces were killed by activists on Saturday afternoon after a civilian was shot in Tamu, Sagaing Region, on the Indian border.

A young man, who was not protesting, was shot dead when he and two friends were riding a motorbike, according to a Tamu resident. Another man was shot dead during the crackdown on Saturday afternoon. Residents said firing lasted from Saturday noon until Sunday morning.

“One was shot in the head and the other was hit in the back,” the resident said.

“Police and soldiers used grenade launchers, machine guns and explosives against us. We also heard 19 soldiers were killed when grenades were thrown into a military truck,” according to a Tamu protester.

Another resident said they heard the soldiers were killed by the town’s civil defense forces.

The Kuki National Organization (KNO) armed group issued a statement on Saturday night, saying 18 soldiers were killed in action by residents, protesters and KNO troops.

On April 4 at least four soldiers were killed by Tamu residents while troops were firing on protesters’ barricades.

Anti-regime protesters are continuing to take to the streets, despite fatal crackdowns and the regime’s forces using explosives to destroy protesters’ roadblocks.

Residents are fleeing Tamu to avoid the mounting violence with some families crossing the Indian border, although the numbers are limited by the border fencing and tightened Indian security.

The residents said another two people were rumored to have been shot on Sunday. Protesters are stepping up measures to challenge the security forces.

On Friday, police and soldiers opened fire on protesters behind roadblocks and sandbag barricades in Bago, killing at least 82 civilians, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. The exact death toll is unknown.

By Saturday, the association said at least 701 civilians had been killed by the junta’s forces since the Feb. 1 coup.

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