YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar’s ruling junta has declared martial law in six townships in the country’s largest city, as security forces killed dozens of protesters over the weekend in an increasingly lethal crackdown on resistance to last month’s military coup.
State broadcaster MRTV said Monday that the Yangon townships of North Dagon, South Dagon, Dagon Seikkan and North Okkalapa have been put under martial law.
An initial announcement was made late Sunday saying two other townships — Hlaing Thar Yar and neighboring Shwepyitha — were being placed under martial law.
At least 38 people were killed Sunday and dozens were injured in one of the deadliest days of the crackdown on anti-coup protesters, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Martial law basically supersedes all other law, allowing the military total authority over the specified area, including administrative, judicial and law enforcement functions.
Its imposition in legal terms legitimizes actions that the military had already been taking to suppress the protests. The immediate trigger appeared to escalate violence.