Myanmar’s faced fresh international criticism Friday over the deaths of more than 40 children and the “forced disappearance” of hundreds of people in its crackdown on pro-democracy protests. The military’s ruthless suppression of demonstrations against its February 1 power grab has left 543 civilians dead, including 44 children, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local monitoring organisation. As well as breaking up protests with tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds, security forces have detained some 2,700 people. Violence has ramped up in recent weeks, with Save the Children saying the death toll of youngsters had more than doubled in the past 12 days. “We are shocked that children continue to be among the targets of these fatal attacks, despite repeated calls to protect children from harm,” the charity said in a statement.