Myanmar military spokesman "sorry" for loss of lives of protesters

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar's military spokesman General Zaw Min Tun attends a news conference in Naypyitaw, Myanmar February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

(Reuters) - Myanmar’s military on Tuesday expressed sadness for the deaths of what it said were 164 demonstrators during violence in the country, but accused anti-coup protesters of widespread destruction of property and of fanning unrest.

Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun told a news conference he felt “sorry for their losses as they are also our citizens,” and said nine members of security forces had been killed. He said strikes and hospitals not fully operating had caused deaths, including from COVID-19, calling them “undutiful and unethical”.

Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Ed Davies