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Myanmar military occupies hospitals and universities ahead of mass strike

   March 9, 2021 1:29 AM
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by Helen Regan, CNN

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(CNN)Troops in Myanmar have occupied hospitals and university campuses, and ramped up nighttime raids ahead of a nationwide strike to protest against the military coup, according to local media reports.

It's the latest move by the military junta, which seized power on February 1, to consolidate its control of the country in the face of mass protests and resistance to its increasingly violent rule. More than 54 people have died in crackdowns on protests, including many teenagers and young people, according to the United Nations. In many districts of the biggest city, Yangon, on Saturday and Sunday, witnesses reported sounds of gunfire and stun grenades. Terrified residents watched and filmed as security forces raided residential areas in the city and made several nighttime arrests. Residents told Reuters police fired shots and did not give reasons for the arrests, which continued into the early hours of Sunday. One of those detained in the raids Saturday was a party official from Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD). Khin Maung Latt died while in custody, according to advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and Reuters. "On the night of his arrest, Khin Maung Latt was tortured to death in his cell," AAPP said in a news release Sunday. Reports of bruising to Khin Maung Latt's head and body raised suspicions he had been abused, NLD lawmaker Ba Myo Thein told Reuters. CNN cannot independently verify this reporting and the details surrounding Khin Maung Latt's death are not immediately clear. Khin Maung Latt had worked as a campaign manager for one of two Muslim lawmakers elected in 2020. Mourners gathered for his funeral on Sunday in Yangon.

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