Nineteen people have been sentenced to death in Myanmar for killing an associate of an army captain, the military-owned Myawaddy TV station said on Friday -- the first such sentences announced in public since a February 1 coup crackdown on protesters, Report informs.
The report said the killing took place on March 27 in the North Okkalapa district of Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city. Martial law has been declared in the district, allowing courts-martial to pronounce sentences.
The military rulers who overthrew an elected government said Friday the protest campaign against its rule was dwindling because people wanted peace and that it would hold elections within two years -- the first timeframe it has given for a return to democracy.
Troops fired rifle grenades at anti-coup protesters on Friday in Bago, near Yangon, witnesses and news reports said. At least ten people were killed, and their bodies piled up inside a pagoda, they said.
Myanmar Now news and Mawkun, an online news magazine, said at least 20 people were killed and many wounded. It was not possible to get a precise toll because troops had cordoned off the area near the pagoda, they said.
Junta spokesman Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun told a news conference in the capital, Naypyitaw, that the country was returning to regular and government ministries and banks would resume entire operations soon.