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At least 550 people killed by Myanmar's military since February coup, says advocacy group

April 3, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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Motorists pass a burning makeshift barricade, erected by protesters demonstrating against the military coup, in Yangon's Tamwe township on April 3, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

At least 550 people have been killed by Myanmar's military in the aftermath of a coup which overthrew the elected government on February 1, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an advocacy group based in neighboring Thailand.

(CNN)At least 550 people have been killed by Myanmar's military in the aftermath of a coup which overthrew the elected government on February 1, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an advocacy group based in neighboring Thailand.

Security officials have responded to dissent with a brutal crackdown and detained thousands, including five people arrested in Myanmar's biggest city Yangon Friday, minutes after being interviewed by CNN journalists, according to eyewitnesses.

The pair were arrested by a group of security officials within three to five minutes of the CNN team leaving the area, according to eyewitnesses.

CNN contacted the Myanmar military for comment and was told the individuals had been released.

However, sources close to the detainees told CNN on Saturday that at least four women and a man are still being held in Shwe Pyi Thar interrogation Center.

Rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Friday that the junta had "forcibly disappeared hundreds of people" -- including politicians, election officials, journalists, activists and protesters -- since the coup.

According to AAPP, at least 2,751 people, among them journalists, protesters, activists, government officials, trade unionists, writers, students, civilians and even children, have been detained as of April 2, often in nighttime raids.

'We are aware of reports of detentions following our team's visit to Yangon, Myanmar yesterday," a CNN spokesperson said Saturday.

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