UN urges restraint ahead of military holiday

The United Nations has again urged Myanmar's military to stop its suppression of civilians.

Despite pressure from the authorities, demonstrators resumed their street protests a day after a nationwide silence strike against the coup in which they stayed home and left the streets empty.

Protesters poured into the streets on Thursday in the second largest city of Mandalay. Buddhist monks, students and fire service volunteers were among the particiants. They marched through the city chanting, "Bring down the dictatorship!" .

A local human rights group says at least 286 people have been killed by security forces since the February 1st coup, including children and teenagers.
Meanwhile, the state-run media reports that more than 600 anti-coup demonstrators were released on Wednesday. The move comes just days before the junta is due to mark Armed Forces Day with a major military parade in the capital Naypyitaw on Saturday.

On the same day as the release, state TV aired footage of a large-scale rehearsal for the event. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the military to exercise maximum restraint ahead of the military event.