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Defense chiefs from 12 nations condemn Myanmar military violence

March 28 (UPI) — A dozen nations condemned Myanmar’s security forces following one of the bloodiest days of protests in the country since a February military coup.

A joint statement from the Chiefs of Defense of Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Britain and the United States urged Myanmar’s armed forces to “cease violence and work to restore respect and credibility” they said it has lost since the coup.

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“A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting — not harming — the people it serves,” they wrote.

At least 114 people, including a 13-year-old girl, were killed by regime troops during protests on Saturday bringing the death toll since the early February coup above 400.

A 1-year-old baby was also injured after being shot in the eye with a rubber bullet in Yangon while playing in an area where troops were located.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered a message of solidarity to the people of Myanmar in a tweet Saturday evening.

“We are horrified by the bloodshed perpetrated by Burmese security forces, showing that the junta will sacrifice the lives of the people to serve the few. I send my deepest condolences to the victims’ families. The courageous people of Burma reject the military’s reign of terror,” he wrote, using the country’s former name.

On Sunday, one person was injured as armed forces opened fire at the Asia Royal Hospital in Yangon while pursuing protesters who took refuge from gunfire inside, Myanmar Now reported.

A staff member who was leaving at the time was shot in the leg with a rubber bullet.

Protests have continued in the nation since the Feb. 1 coup in which the military, known as the Tatmadaw, overthrew and detained the nation’s civilian leader and other high-ranking elected officials after making unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.

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