The world is such a cruel planet, reports of Myanmar soldiers reportedly charging families $85 to collect bodies of relatives killed during protests has set social media on fire.
According to sources, over 82 people lost their lives on Friday in Bago, 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of capital Yangon, following a heavy protest which got the city attacked by the military’s security forces.
Reports coming from the advocacy group, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) increasing the number of people died since the military overthrew Myanmar’s elected government in a February 1 coup, to 700 people.
On Friday the anti-coup protesters were fired using assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and hand grenades while the internet in the area was cut off, according to AAPP.
“I was living on the main road. The security forces come and station often,” an eyewitness told CNN, on condition of anonymity.
“Due to the threat, we had to move into the house in the lane nearby,”
Now a Facebook post from the Bago University Students’ Union is alleging that the military is now charging families 120,000 Myanmar kyat ($85) to retrieve the bodies of relatives who died on Friday.
In defence, Myanmar’s military claim its forces were attacked by protesters in Bago on Friday, according to state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar.
Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, has defended the coup over the weekend, stating that the junta “did not seize power but took measures to strengthen the multiparty democracy system,”
“Security forces were attacked by groups of rioters while removing road barriers solidified by the rioters on the streets in Bago yesterday,” Global New Light of Myanmar reported, adding: “rioters used handmade guns, fire bottles, arrows, handmade shields and grenades to attack the security forces.”
“Evidence of confiscated grenades and ammunition indicates small arms were used,” the report added.
On Sunday, the United States Embassy in Myanmar called for an end to the violence.
“We mourn the senseless loss of life in Bago and around the country where regime forces have reportedly used weapons of war against civilians,” the embassy said in a post on its official Twitter account.
“The regime has the ability to resolve the crisis and needs to start by ending violence and attacks,” it added.