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Myanmar coup: US tells its citizens to ‘shelter in place’

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image captionArmoured vehicles were on the streets of Yangon for the first time since the coup on 1 February

The US is telling its citizens in Myanmar to “shelter in place” after reports of military movements and possible interruptions to telecoms.

Two weeks ago, the military carried out a coup in Myanmar (also known as Burma), removing the elected civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

On Sunday, armoured vehicles were seen on the streets of the main city, Yangon, for the first time since then.

There have been protests across the country for the ninth day in a row.

Videos from Kachin state, in the north, showed security forces opening fire on protesters outside a power station in the city of Myitkyina. It was not clear whether they were using rubber bullets or live ammunition.

Telecoms operators in Myanmar are advising their customers that they have been told to shut off internet services from 01:00 to 09:00 local time, Sunday into Monday (18:30 to 02:30 GMT).

The warning to US nationals came from an office of the US embassy in Yangon.

There are indications of military movements in Yangon and the possibility of telecommunications interruptions overnight between 1:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. U.S. citizens in Burma are advised to shelter-in-place during the 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. curfew hours.

— American Citizen Services – Burma (Myanmar) (@ACSRangoon) February 14, 2021

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The United Nations human rights office in Yangon said on Friday that more than 350 people had been arrested since the coup.

Ms Suu Kyi is under house arrest.

What’s the latest?

On Sunday armoured vehicles were seen rolling through the streets of central Yangon, around the city hall.

The vehicles were seen after hundreds of thousands of people joined another day of protests across the country against the military takeover.

Videos from Kachin state showed security forces cracking down on protests. AFP news agency said five journalists had been arrested.

Kachin state is the site of a long-running insurgency against the central government by ethnic minorities. There has been sporadic fighting over the past decade since a ceasefire broke down in 2011.

On Saturday, the military said arrest warrants had been issued for seven prominent opposition campaigners and warned the public not to harbour opposition activists fleeing arrest.

Video footage from Myanmar on Saturday showed people reacting with defiance, banging pots and pans to warn their neighbours of night-time raids by the security forces.

The military on Saturday also suspended laws requiring court orders for detaining people longer than 24 hours and for searching private property.

Myanmar – the basics

  • Myanmar, also known as Burma, was long considered a pariah state while under the rule of an oppressive military junta from 1962 to 2011
  • A gradual liberalisation began in 2010, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year
  • In 2017, a deadly crackdown by Myanmar’s army on Rohingya Muslims sent more than half a million fleeing across the border into Bangladesh, in what the UN later called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”
  • Aung San Suu Kyi and her government were overthrown in an army coup on 1 February following a landslide NLD win in November’s elections

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