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Myanmar junta rolls in armoured vehicles to major cities, cuts internet

According to local media, on Sunday evening the armoured vehicles were seen in Yangon, Myitkyina and Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state

Myanmar | coup | Aung San Suu Kyi

ANI  |  Asia 

Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

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 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 cities and internet access has been largely cut off amid fears of a crackdown on anti-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.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in has appealed to its citizens to "shelter-in-place" after armoured vehicles rolled into cities for the first time since the February 1 military

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 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 and President Win Myint, and declared a one-year emergency.

Despite military repression, widespread protests continue across Myanmar, including Yangon and other key cities.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, February 15 2021. 06:33 IST