Demonstrators flash the three-finger salute during a protest against the military coup in Yangon on March 1. © Reuters
Demonstrators flash the three-finger salute during a protest against the military coup in Yangon on March 1. © Reuters

(dpa) – Reports from Myanmar say dozens of people may have been killed in a military assault on anti-coup protesters in the city of Bago on Friday.

About 60 people may have died in the clashes in the city about 60 kilometres north-east of Yangon, according to Radio Free Asia, citing witnesses.

News site Myanmar Now cited a protest leader as saying dozens of bodies had been brought inside a pagoda compound where the military were based.

Witnesses cited by both media outlets reported hours of gunfire that started early on Friday morning.

Protests against the February coup continued on Saturday in Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Sagaing, Myeik and many other cities.

The total number of people killed during the unrest in Myanmar has reached over 600, according to rights groups.

The military crackdown has also included reports of protesters being tortured in detention and harsh sentences.

The military issued death sentences on 19 people, understood to be protesters, from Yangon’s North Okkalapa township on Friday. They were charged with beating an army captain, according to Radio Free Asia.

The military coup ousted the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently under house arrest.

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