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Myanmar coup: Protesters flee after being ‘trapped’ overnight

Police officers search for hiding demonstrators

Dozens of Myanmar anti-coup protesters who had been cornered overnight by security forces in Yangon have escaped from the world where they were trapped.

About 200 people were caught during a four-street area in Sanchaung district which the police sealed .

At least 40 people were arrested and brought away but others managed to flee as police numbers dwindled overnight, an area resident told BBC News.

More demonstrations are being staged in Myanmar’s biggest city on Tuesday.

Mass protests are seen across the south-east Asian country since the military seized power on 1 February during a coup.

At least 54 people have died within the protests, which are calling for an end to military rule and therefore the release of the country’s elected government leaders – including Aung San Suu Kyi – who were overthrown and detained within the coup.

According to United Nations (UN) chief Antonio Guterres, many of these trapped on Monday had been women who were marching in support of International Women’s Day.

The UN had appealed to the military for his or her “safe release”, with Mr Guterres urging “maximum restraint”.

Many protesters, who had nowhere to show to, were taken in by local residents. Others were trapped.

Early on Tuesday, one protester told the BBC that he was ready to leave at around 06:30 civil time (00:00 GMT). He said security forces had left the world early within the morning.

He added that 40 people had been arrested overnight, but the remainder of them remained hidden until the morning and were ready to leave.

Another protester told the BBC that she and a gaggle of individuals were taken in by hosts when troops begin blocking the streets.

“There were seven folks trapped – six women and one man. [After a short time of being inside] we got anxious and realised the [troops] weren’t getting to leave,” she said. “So we came up with some solutions to urge out of that house.”

She, along side another protester, eventually managed to slip away of the host’s house and left to spend the night somewhere “safer”. They eventually managed to go away the world on Tuesday morning.

‘Free the students’
Myanmar police on Monday night started raiding houses within the area trying to find people that were from outside the district.

Reports later emerged that security forces had surrounded a gaggle of children within the Sanchaung neighbourhood – with explosions heard from the world .

Activist Maung Saungkha said on Twitter late on Monday that he managed to “escape” Sanchaung, but added that “almost 200 young protesters are blocked by police and soldiers there”.

In Yangon, huge numbers of individuals gathered on the streets, defying a curfew, in an effort to distract security forces. They were heard chanting: “Free the scholars in Sanchaung.”

Security forces fired guns and used stun grenades in an effort to disperse them, Reuters press agency reported.

It’s thought that three people died in demonstrations across the country on Monday.

Separately on Monday, the military government revoked the publishing licences of 5 local news outlets – Mizzima, DVB, Khit Thit Media, Myanmar Now and 7Day News – that had been widely covering the protests.

In a statement on Facebook, Mizzima said it might defy this ban, adding that it might “continue to fight against the military coup by publishing and broadcasting through multimedia platforms”.

Just before the government’s announcement, Myanmar Now reported that its office in central Yangon had been raided by soldiers and police.

They added that computers, printers and parts of the newsroom’s data server had been seized. one among the news agency’s reporters was arrested while livestreaming a protest in Yangon last month.

Myanmar in profile
Myanmar, also referred to as Burma, became independent from Britain in 1948. For much of its modern history it’s been under military rule
Restrictions began loosening from 2010 onwards, resulting in free elections in 2015 and therefore the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the subsequent year
In 2017, Myanmar’s army skilled attacks on police by Rohingya militants with a deadly crackdown, driving quite half 1,000,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in what the UN later called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”

 

 

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