Dozens of people have reportedly been killed across Myanmar as soldiers and the police suppressed protests against last month's military coup.

The deaths were reported as Myanmar's military celebrated the annual Armed Forces Day holiday with a parade in the country's capital, Naypyitaw.

A count issued by an independent researcher in Yangon, who has been compiling near real-time death tolls, put the total by 9pm at 100, spread over more than two dozen cities and towns. The online news site Myanmar Now reported the death toll had reached 91.

Both numbers are greater than all estimates for the previous high on March 14, which ranged in counts from 74 to 90 deaths.

Figures collected by the researcher have generally tallied with the counts issued at the end of each day by the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, which documents deaths and arrests and is widely seen as a definitive source.

The killings quickly drew international condemnation, with multiple diplomatic missions to Myanmar releasing statements that mentioned the killing of civilians on Saturday, including children.

"This 76th Myanmar armed forces day will stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonour," the European Union's delegation to Myanmar said on Twitter. "The killing of unarmed civilians, including children, are indefensible acts."

US ambassador Thomas Vajda said "security forces are murdering unarmed civilians".

"These are not the actions of a professional military or police force," he said in a statement. "Myanmar's people have spoken clearly: They do not want to live under military rule."

The death toll in Myanmar has been steadily rising as authorities grow more forceful with their suppression of opposition to the February 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup reversed years of progress towards democracy after five decades of military rule.

Up through to Friday, the Association of Political Prisoners had verified 328 people killed in the post-coup crackdown.


Responding to reports that at least 91 people, including a five-year-old boy, were killed by Myanmar’s security forces across the country today, Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said: “This is just the latest example of the military authorities’ determination to kill their way out of nationwide resistance to the coup.

"These abhorrent killings again show the generals’ brazen disregard for the inadequate pressure applied so far by the international community.

“This comes a day after the military announced that further protests would be met with shots to the head. 

“The cost of international inaction is being counted in bodies, including children shot dead in their homes. Amid the horrifying death toll is a nation of over 50 million held hostage, subjected to arbitrary arrest and sweeping surveillance, living in fear of death and torture.  

“The people of Myanmar continue to protest, all while they grieve more killings by the hour.