A demonstrator gestures near a barricade during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, on March 22, 2021.

The European Union prepared to impose sanctions on 11 people linked to last month’s military coup in Myanmar on Monday as the number of killings of pro-democracy demonstrators by security forces reached what Germany’s foreign minister called “an unbearable extent”.

At least 250 people have been killed so far in the crackdown on the protests, according to figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group.

Three people were killed in Myanmar’s second city, Mandalay in renewed unrest on Monday, including a 15-year-old boy, witnesses and news reports said.

“The number of murders has reached an unbearable extent, which is why we will not be able to avoid imposing sanctions,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters as he arrived in Brussels for a meeting with his EU counterparts.

The sanctions will be the EU’s most significant response to the events in Myanmar so far. The names of the 11 people involved in the coup and repression of demonstrators will be made public after the meeting.

According to diplomats and documents seen by Reuters last week, the EU is also planning to target companies “generating revenue for, or providing financial support to, the Myanmar Armed Forces”.

“We don’t intend to punish the people of Myanmar but those who blatantly violate human rights,” Maas said.

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