Myanmar security forces have reportedly killed 20 people in fresh clashes with armed residents in the Ayeyarwady region, local media reported.
Khit Thit Media and Delta News Agency reported that security forces killed 20 civilians and injured more last June 5 when soldiers clashed with the villagers of Hlayswe, 150 kilometers northwest of Yangon.
If the death toll provided by the local media is confirmed, it would be the one of highest in a single day in nearly two months since protests against the Feb. 1 military coup began.
Residents fought back against the troops using catapults and crossbows as the soldiers came for the village to search for weapons, according to reports.
Meanwhile, state-run Myanmar Radio and Television reported that security forces came under attack with compressed air guns and darts when they came to the village to arrest a man accused of plotting against the state, leading to the deaths of three “terrorists.”
The Ayeyarwady region is an important rice-growing area that has large populations of the Bamar major ethnic group, from which much of the army is drawn, and the Karen people, the largest ethnic minority in the Southeast Asian country.
According to the nonprofit human rights organization Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the military has killed 849 people and arrested 4,674 as of June 6 since the beginning of the coup.