In the wake of a massacre by Myanmar’s military regime that left at least 100 people dead during dawn attacks on anti-regime strongholds three days ago in the central Myanmar town of Bago, tens of thousands of civilians have fled the city, local residents said Monday.

Iran PressAsia: About 100,000 residents have left their homes in the city and sought safe haven in nearby villages because of the brutal oppression by the army and the police, they said.

“The people fleeing their homes are residents of four neighborhoods in the city where the junta forces attacked,” said a Bago woman who declined to give her name. “There must be over 100,000 or so.”

Police and soldiers used rifle grenades and machine guns in the ferocious assault as they cleared barricades built by anti-junta protesters, leaving piles of bodies in pagodas and on school grounds of the ancient city, protest leaders said in an earlier report.

Some residents and social aid groups reported that security forces were demanding payments of 120,000 kyats (the US $84) before releasing the bodies of the dead to their families.

“The families of victims have been asked to give 120,000 kyats if they want to get the body of someone who died in the violence,” said a volunteer social worker who declined to give his name. “But if they go there just to look at and not ask for the body, then they are not charged any fee.”

Some people who paid the money to take home the bodies had to promise the security forces that they would not mention the matter to anyone, he added.

Heavily armed police and soldiers are now stationed at temples and schools throughout the city, 71 kilometers northeast of Myanmar’s former capital and commercial hub Yangon, and barricades have been set up in the neighborhood, residents said.

Security forces have ordered locals to remove their Thai-made PSI satellite TV dishes as part of a wider effort to cut off people’s access to information — a move that followed clampdowns on social media, Wi-Fi, and mobile internet since the military carried out the coup on Feb. 1.

Nationwide demonstrations intensified in the wake of the brutal attack in Bago, with “flash strikes” held against the regime on Sunday. During the nighttime protests, demonstrators shined lights from their cell phones and from flashlights as a show of opposition to the junta.

At least10 protesters and civilians were arrested at one event in Thinbawdan ward near the Yandanbon shipyard in Myanmar’s second-largest city Mandalay, residents said.