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Myanmar military occupies hospitals and universities ahead of mass strike

March 8, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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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.

(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.

Over the weekend, Myanmar troops were seen occupying hospitals and universities in Yangon and Mandalay, according to local media Myanmar Now. Activists fear their presence could hinder treatment for wounded protesters or enable arrests.

"If it was not obvious before, it is absolutely clear now: the Myanmar military will not stop violating the rights of the people of Myanmar until the international community acts decisively to prevent and account for these outrageous acts," the group said in a statement.

The call to strike follows massive protests Sunday that were violently suppressed by the military, according to Myanmar Now. The reports said security forces fired live and rubber bullets in cities around the country, including Mandalay and Nyaung-U -- close to the ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage site of Bagan.

Myanmar military personnel were filmed beating a man on the streets of Mandalay, and in Nyaung-U, footage obtained by Reuters showed security forces in riot gear with shields marching down the streets firing live and rubber bullets as protesters took cover.

"After brutal crackdowns on peaceful protests yesterday (Saturday) by the police and military, brutal acts continued into the night, raids into residential areas and homes, gunfire, and unlawful search and detentions," AAPP said.

Meanwhile, Australia on Monday said it had suspended a bilateral defense cooperation program with the Myanmar military following the coup and the "escalating violence and rising death toll," Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said.

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