U.S. offers temporary legal residency to people from Myanmar

Mahn Win Khaing Than said that this is the

"Due to the military coup and security forces' brutal violence against civilians, the people of Burma are suffering a complex and deteriorating humanitarian crisis in many parts of the country", said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, using Myanmar's former name.

The fresh violence against protesters comes after three people were killed overnight in commercial hub Yangon."Security forces arrested three young men, and as we followed to get them back, they cracked down on us", recounted a resident, requesting anonymity.

The US government has offered Myanmar citizens, stranded by the violence following the country's military coup, refuge in the United States under "temporary protected status".

Five people were shot dead and several injured when police opened fire on a sit-in protest in Mandalay, Myanmar's second-biggest city, witnesses told Reuters.

"Two were killed -with one shot in his head and another one hit with a shot that penetrated his cheek to the neck", he said, adding that they had to wait until the police stopped shooting to retrieve the bodies.

A spokesman for the junta did not answer phone calls from Reuters seeking comment.

Mahn Win Khaing Than, who was named the acting vice president by Myanmar's ousted lawmakers and is a member of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party, addressed the public on Saturday for the first time since the February 1 military takeover.

Many hospitals are occupied by security forces, and as a result are boycotted by medical personnel and shunned by protesters.

After 12 people were killed on Thursday in one of the bloodiest days since the February 1 coup, the British foreign office warned that "political tension and unrest are widespread since the military takeover and levels of violence are rising". So far, approximately 1,700 people have been detained and at least 53 have been killed during protests for a return to democratic governance.

She was released in 2010 as the military began democratic reforms.

The junta has repeatedly justified its power grab by alleging widespread electoral fraud in November's elections, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party had swept in a landslide.

The UN's Special Rapporteur on human rights in the country, Thomas Andrews, gave a bleak assessment of the crisis.

The country is "controlled by a murderous, illegal regime" that was likely committing 'crimes against humanity, ' Andrews told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Soldiers have been occupying hospitals and universities across Myanmar as they try to quash a civil disobedience movement that started with government employees such as doctors and teachers but has expanded into a general strike that has paralyzed many sectors of the economy.

The Kremlin said Russian Federation, which has close ties to Myanmar's military, was concerned over the mounting violence and was "analysing" whether to suspend military-technical cooperation. On Friday, however, multiple reports said the Union home ministry had asked four North East states bordering Myanmar to maintain a strict vigil at the worldwide borders and not allow anyone to enter India.

It said Seoul would suspend defence exchanges, ban arms exports, limit exports of other strategic items, reconsider development aid and grant humanitarian exemptions allowing Myanmar nationals to stay in South Korea until the situation improved.

Two deaths by gunfire were reported in Yangon's Thaketa township, where a protest being held outside a police station was dispersed.