Myanmar's military deploys armored vehicles

Image Reuters Suu Kyi 75 won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for campaigning for democracy and spent nearly 15 years under house arrest

Myanmar's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been remanded in custody until Wednesday, not Monday as previously thought, her lawyer told media, as protesters began gathering again to demand her release and an end to military rule.

Myanmar's junta cut the nation's internet and deployed extra troops around the country on Monday as fears built of a widespread crackdown on anti-coup protests, but defiant demonstrators again took to the streets.

The security forces fired to disperse protesters outside one plant in the state capital, Myitkyina, footage broadcast live on Facebook showed, although it was not clear if they were using rubber bullets or live fire.

As well as the demonstrations around the country, the military is facing a strike by government workers, part of a civil disobedience movement that is crippling many functions of government.

United Nations special rapporteur Tom Andrews said the junta's efforts to rein in the burgeoning protest movement was a sign of "desperation" and amounted to a declaration of war against its people.

An armoured vehicle and about six trucks carrying soldiers were parked nearby, a witness said. On Sunday evening, armoured vehicles appeared in the commercial capital of Yangon, Myitkyina and Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, the first large-scale rollout of such vehicles across the country since the coup.

Police in the capital, Naypyitaw, detained about 20 high-school students protesting by a road. Videos of such raids have been widely posted on social media.

"Remember, we don't swear at the police and don't sign anything at the police station", one student can be heard saying.

Media also showed orderly ranks of protesters marching in Naypyitaw with pictures of Suu Kyi with the message: "we want our leader".

The Nobel laureate spent years under house arrest during an earlier dictatorship and has not been seen in public since she was detained on February 1, in the middle of an earlier internet shutdown.

Suu Kyi's custody period was expected to expire today, but her lawyer said Monday that she has been remanded until 17 February, citing a judge.

There was no immediate confirmation of a death toll and no comment from the government.

Shortly after midnight, residents reported an internet outage until about 9 a.m., when connections were restored.

The order, issued late Saturday and published Sunday in state newspapers, suspends provisions in an existing law on security and privacy protection, allowing the authorities to carry out searches and make arrests without court warrants.

"In this most delicate moment, the Holy See wishes to assure once again its spiritual closeness, prayer and solidarity with the people of Myanmar", Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Holy See's permanent observer to the UN Human Rights Council, said on February 12.

"Security forces are raiding people's residences in many places across the country and trying to arrest those who are against the military junta".

"These are signs of desperation".

"Attention generals: You WILL be held accountable", he wrote on Twitter.

The junta, led by Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, said it was forced to step in because the government failed to properly investigate allegations of fraud in last year's election, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won in a landslide. The electoral commission had dismissed the army's complaints.

Protesters hold placards reading "Join in CDM", referring to Civil Disobedience Movement, in front of an armored vehicle during a protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar. The junta has ordered civil servants back to work and threatened action against them.

In the latest sign of disruption by workers, the Department of Civil Aviation said many staff had stopped going to work since February 8, causing delays to global flights.

Trains in parts of the country stopped running after staff refused to go to work, local media reported, while the military deployed soldiers to power plants where they were confronted by angry crowds.



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