Myanmar army says will ‘annihilate’ coup opponents

Published : 27 Mar 2022 08:47 PM

Myanmar's junta will "annihilate" coup opponents, army chief Min Aung Hlaing said on Sunday (March 27) as the military staged a show of force on the anniversary of its bloodiest crackdown so far on democracy protests.

The south-east Asian country has been in chaos since a putsch in February 2021, with more than 1,700 people killed in crackdowns on dissent, according to a local monitoring group.

Anti-coup People's Defence Force fighters clash regularly with junta troops, while fighting has also flared in border areas with more established ethnic rebel groups. Presiding over the annual parade that showcased tanks, truck-mounted missiles, artillery and troops on horseback, General Min Aung Hlaing told about 8,000 assembled security staff that the army would not let up.

The military will "no longer negotiate... and annihilate until the end" groups fighting to overturn its rule, he said ahead of the Armed Forces Day procession in army-built capital Naypyitaw. Jets flew overhead trailing the yellow, red and green of the national flag, while state media showed women lining the streets leading to the parade ground to give flowers and place garlands on the marching soldiers.Meanwhile, anti-coup protesters called on social media for a national "power strike" demonstration on Sunday evening. Armed Forces Day commemorates the start of local resistance to the Japanese occupation during World War II, and usually features a military parade attended by foreign officers and diplomats.