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Protests continue in Myanmar as death toll rises to over 700

Anti-coup protesters walk through a market with images of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi at Kamayut township in Yangon, Myanmar on April 8, 2021. (AP Photo)

YANGON (Kyodo) -- Protests calling for democracy and the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi continued in Myanmar on Monday, with the death toll from the junta's violent campaign to quell the unrest reaching over 700, according to local media and a rights group.

    Demonstrations against the Feb. 1 military coup took place at several locations in Myanmar on Monday, including a motorbike rally in the northern Sagaing region and a protest in the second-largest city Mandalay.

    The demonstrators were undeterred, despite last week's killing of over 80 people in the city of Bago, near Yangon, from Thursday night to Friday, likely the deadliest day for a single area since the coup.

    Meanwhile, the security forces launched raids on protesters' defense lines in Tamu near the country's Indian border early Monday, according to The Irrawaddy newspaper's post on Twitter.

    Security forces have killed 706 people as of Sunday since the military seized power from the elected government of Suu Kyi, according to a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners based in Thailand and Myanmar.

    The rights group monitoring the situation in Myanmar called the crackdown in Bago "a killing field," with at least 82 people confirmed dead in shootings there by the military.

    The group also said 3,059 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced, as of Sunday. The arrested include Suu Kyi and other leaders of her party, National League for Democracy.

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