Yangon [Myanmar], March 18 (ANI): As violence continues to intensify in Myanmar with the military using deadly violence against anti-coup protesters, over 200 people have been killed since the takeover on February 1, said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to CNN.
"Yesterday we were informed [of] 149 [deaths], now we can say 202 since February 1, including 121 since last Friday," Bachelet said.
She also said that the death toll could be higher as the UN agency does not have access to some areas where more deaths may have occurred, adding that approximately 2,400 people have been detained.
Concern grows for the safety of residents in Myanmar's Yangon after the junta sealed off several key areas and impose an internet blackout in an apparent bid to quash opposition.
In recent days, the military has become more indiscriminate in its use of deadly violence against unarmed protesters, with widespread reports of shootings and torture of political prisoners, CNN reported.
After imposing martial law in six areas of Yangon and parts of Mandalay, mobile network data across the country was cut for a second day on Wednesday, internet monitoring service Netblocks reported.
Protesters and journalists have relied on their mobile phones to live stream demonstrations and document police crackdowns, and the military's suppression of information has increased fears it could lead to more human rights abuses, killings and arbitrary arrests, according to CNN.
"With the internet shut down, the people inside areas sealed off by the military and police have no access to the outside world... The junta is trying to stop any information about the violence they are committing from getting out. The junta is trying to create a total blackout," said John Quinley, senior human rights specialist at the rights group Fortify Rights.
According to advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), at least 74 people were killed on Sunday alone and 20 more killed on Monday. Mass funerals for many of the dead were held across Yangon on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the most powerful religious body in the Buddhist-majority nation said it will end support to the military by stopping all its activities, CNN cited local media.
On February 1, Myanmar's military overthrew the government and declared a year-long state of emergency hours before the newly-elected parliament was due to convene. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, along with other top officials accused of election fraud, have been placed under house arrest. The coup triggered mass protests across the country. (ANI)