Nay Pyi Taw, March 27: The Myanmar military on Saturday marked the Armed Forces Day with parades and speeches, despite the ongoing violent protests against the February 1 coup which have so far claimed the lives of over 300 people.

The death toll rose by 40 on Saturday following overnight raids across the country, DPA news agency quoted Myanmar Now and other media outlets as saying.

The military had been hoping for a protest-free day on Saturday.

Among the victims was Chit Bo Nyein, a 21-year-old team captain from the Hantharwady United U-21 team, who was shot dead by the military's armed forces on Saturday morning in Yangon while he was helping in his family's tea shop in Insein township, neighbours told dpa.

A broadcast on state news channel MRTV on Friday evening had issued a veiled warning that civilians should learn from the deaths of others that "you can be in danger of getting shot in the head and back."

Despite the growing toll and threats, thousands of Myanmar residents are participating in regular protests, demanding that the democratically-elected government of former de facto leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi be returned to power.

The Army has had her under house arrest since February 1.

Besides being accused of a variety of crimes, the Army recently alleged tampering in the November 8, 2020, vote that saw her National League for Democracy (NLD) return to power, but has provided no proof.

The military's commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, on Saturday reiterated a promise to hold elections as well as allegations that the NLD had acted unlawfully as big parades were held in capital Nay Pyi Taw.

"The Army seeks to join hands with the entire nation to safeguard democracy," he said, adding that it also sought to protect the people and to restore peace across the country.

"Violent acts that affect stability and security in order to make demands are inappropriate."