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apple developer:Myanmar protesters hold more rallies, World Bank warns of slump

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Myanmar anti-junta protesters held more rallies on Friday after the military reportedly shot dead nine people a day earlier and as the World Bank warned the country's economy could slump 10% this year due to the turmoil since last month's coup.

In a bid to increase pressure on the junta over the Feb. 1 coup, the United States and Britain imposed sanctions on conglomerates controlled by the military, with Washington calling it a response to the military's "brutal repression".

Candle-lit protests took place across the country overnight including in the Mandalay and Sagaing regions, as well as in Karen and Chin states, media reports said

A group of about 100 people beating drums held a protest in the downtown Sule area of Yangon before being chased away by security forces, witnesses said. "This war has not ended until we win," one of the protesters, Phone Naing, told Reuters. "I will fight them as much as we can."

In Myanmar's second city of Mandalay, protesters marched on Friday morning in front of a "civil disobedience movement" banner, Mizzima news reported.

Organisers have called for widespread protests on Saturday, observed as Armed Forces Day, commemorating the start of the military's resistance to Japanese occupation in 1945.

"We have to revive that history on March 27, 2021 in this spring revolution," wrote Ei Thinzar Maung, a protest leader, in a social media post. "The day for the people to revolt against the Tatmadaw (military), which has been oppressing people for ages...has come again."

Myanmar has been rocked by almost daily protests since the army overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government and installed the junta. Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her campaign to bring democratic civilian rule to Myanmar, and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) are being held in detention.

At least 320 people have been killed in the subsequent crackdown, according to figures compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group.

Its data shows that at least 25 percent of those who were killed died from shots to the head, raising suspicions they were deliberately targeted for killing.

The World Bank on Friday slashed its forecast for Myanmar's economy to a 10% contraction in 2021 from the growth expected previously.

Myanmar "has been heavily affected by protests, worker strikes, and military actions; reductions in mobility; and the ongoing disruption of critical public services in addition to banking, logistics, and internet services", it said.

U.S., BRITISH SANCTIONS

In Washington, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited and Myanmar Economic Corporation Limited.

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