Myanmar’s military accused anti-junta protestors of arson and violence as Western countries imposed more sanctions on individuals and groups linked to last month’s coup and the ensuing bloody crackdown on dissent.
The European Union (EU) and the United States imposed sanctions on Monday. The 11 people it targeted included General Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the Myanmar military. The EU already has an arms embargo on Myanmar.
Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun said 164 protestors had been killed in the violence and expressed sadness at the deaths. “They are also our citizens,” he told a news conference in the capital Naypyitaw on Tuesday, adding that the military would use the least force possible to quell violence.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group says at least 261 people have been killed in the brutal crackdown by security forces that has left the Southeast Asian nation in turmoil.
Three people including a teenage boy were killed in unrest on Monday in Myanmar’s second city, Mandalay, witnesses and news reports said.