Myanmar protesters hold 'flower strike'

Anti-coup protesters in Myanmar's largest city of Yangon staged a "flower strike" on Friday, leaving bouquets, some bearing slogans, at locations including bus stops to honor those killed in the military's repression.

A local human rights group says 543 civilians have been killed by security forces since the February 1 takeover. Residents in areas controlled by the Karen ethnic armed group continue to flee airstrikes by the military.

Protesters are still on the streets two months after the coup. Security forces reportedly gunned down five people on Thursday.

The military had invited ethnic armed groups to agree to a one-month ceasefire starting Thursday. But an NGO official told NHK airstrikes were carried out in Karen State in the southeast of the country that day and Friday. Local media say 20,000 local people remain evacuated.

Officials in India's Mizoram State say over 1,000 refugees from neighboring Myanmar have fled there since the coup, and the number continues to rise.