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Junta troops open fire on a funeral after Myanmar’s bloodiest day

The bloodshed drew renewed Western condemnation. The UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar said the army was carrying out “mass murder” and called on the world to isolate the junta and halt its access to weapons.

Foreign criticism and sanctions imposed by some Western nations have failed so far to sway the military leaders, as have almost daily protests around the country since the junta took power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“We salute our heroes who sacrificed lives during this revolution and We Must Win This REVOLUTION,” one of the main protest groups, the General Strike Committee of Nationalities (GSCN), posted on Facebook.

Heavy fighting also erupted between the army and some of the two dozen ethnic armed groups that control swathes of the country.

About 3,000 people fled to neighbouring Thailand after military jets bombed areas controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU) militia near the border, an activist group and local media said.

In an air attack by the military on Saturday, at least three civilians were killed in a village controlled by the KNU, a civil society group said. The militia earlier said it had overrun an army post near the border, killing 10 people.

Military vehicles parade on Armed Forces Day in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw on Saturday.

Military vehicles parade on Armed Forces Day in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw on Saturday.Credit:AP

Fighting also erupted on Sunday between another armed group, the Kachin Independence Army, and the military in the jade-mining area of Hpakant in the north. The Kachin forces attacked a police station and the military responded with an aerial assault, Kachinwaves media reported.

There were no reports of casualties.

A junta spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment on the killings or the fighting.

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Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the junta leader, said during a parade to mark Armed Forces Day that the military would protect the people and strive for democracy.

Countries including Australia, the United States, Britain, Germany and the European Union strongly condemned the violence.

The Myanmar military took power saying that November elections won by Suu Kyi’s party were fraudulent, an assertion dismissed by the country’s election commission. Suu Kyi remains in detention at an undisclosed location and many other figures in her party are also in custody.

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