Protesters took to the streets in several parts of Myanmar on Thursday, defying an increasingly brutal crackdown by security forces that rights group Amnesty International says are now adopting battle tactics against demonstrators.
More than 60 protesters have been killed and some 2,000 people have been detained by security forces since the Feb. 1 coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, an advocacy group said.
Social media posts showed pro-democracy protesters marching in the town of Tamu in Chin State on Thursday chanting: “Will we revolt or will we serve them? We will revolt.”
A Reuters witness said there was also a small rally in the Sanchaung area of Yangon, a district where security forces this week fired guns and used stun grenades as they checked houses to hunt down protesters.
Overnight, people defied a curfew to hold several more candle lit vigils in parts of Yangon and also in Myingyan, south west of the second city of Mandalay.
The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday condemned violence against protesters and urged the army to show restraint, but failed to denounce the military takeover as a coup or threaten further action due to opposition from China and Russia.
Amnesty International accused the army of using lethal force against protesters and said many killings documented amounted to extrajudicial executions.
“These are not the actions of overwhelmed, individual officers making poor decisions,” said Joanne Mariner, Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International.
“These are unrepentant commanders already implicated in crimes against humanity, deploying their troops and murderous methods in the open.”
A junta spokesman declined to give an immediate comment, but said there would be a news conference held by the military’s council in the capital Naypyitaw at 2 pm. (0730 GMT) on Thursday.
The junta has previously said it is acting with utmost restraint in handling what it describes as demonstrations by “riotous protesters” whom it accuses of attacking police and harming national security and stability.