As demonstrations demanding a return to civilian rule gain momentum in Myanmar, the military junta on Monday deployed armoured vehicles in the major cities and a near-total internet shutdown has come into effect from 1 am.
"A near-total internet shutdown is in effect in Myanmar as of 1 am (local time); real-time network data show national connectivity at just 14 per cent of ordinary levels following state-ordered information blackout; incident ongoing," said NetBlocks, an internet's observatory which tracks disruptions and shutdowns across the world.
Armoured vehicles have rolled into Myanmar cities and internet access has been largely cut off amid fears of a crackdown on anti-coup protesters after nine days of mass demonstrations demanding a return to civilian rule, Al Jazeera reported.
According to local media, on Sunday evening the armoured vehicles were seen in Yangon, Myitkyina and Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state.
Earlier, soldiers were deployed to power plants in the northern state of Kachin, leading to a confrontation with demonstrators, some of who said they believed the army intended to cut off the electricity, Al Jazeera said.
The embassy also said there was a "possibility of telecommunications interruptions overnight between 1:00 am. and 9:00 am".
In an official statement, embassy, "There are indications of military movements in Yangon and the possibility of telecommunications interruptions overnight between 1:00 am and 9:00 am. The US Embassy recommends all US citizens shelter-in-place during the 8:00 pm to 4:00 am curfew hours."
On February 1, Myanmar's military staged a coup and overthrew the democratically elected government of the National League for Democracy (NLD), alleging voter fraud in November 2020 elections that saw the NLD securing a resounding victory.
The military detained several political officials and activists including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, and declared a one-year emergency.
Despite military repression, widespread protests continue across Myanmar, including Yangon and other key cities.
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