Myanmar protesters fire flares and hurl molotov cocktails during clashes with soldiers


Protesters fired flares and hurled Molotov cocktails during clashes with security forces in Yangon, Myanmar, on Monday (March 29).

The chaotic scene came as the death toll from the protests reached 500 people across the country and the government used airstrikes on villages.

On Saturday, at least 114 civilians were killed in 44 towns and cities across the country, including a five-year-old child gunned down in the street. It happened when the military celebrated its annual Armed Forces Day.

A 13-year-old girl was among those killed when the junta’s armed forces opened fire in residential areas of Meikhtila, in Mandalay. At least 20 minors have reportedly been killed since the start of the unrest.

International pressure on Myanmar, still also known as Burma, has escalated with the U.S. government putting sanctions on the country to strengthen its response to the military coup. 

Burma was governed by Britain from 1824 to 1948, during which time it became the second-wealthiest country in Southeast Asia but following independence was ruled by the military until 2011 when democratic reforms began. 

It changed its name to Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi later took over as leader before being widely praised for introducing democratic reforms against ongoing opposition from the military.