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Myanmar Military Carries Out Coup, Detains Aung San Suu Kyi

Military has taken over, transferred power to commander-in-chief of armed forces
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2021 12:48 AM CST
Updated Feb 1, 2021 5:01 AM CST

(Newser) – Myanmar's de facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained by the military after the armed forces carried out a coup d'etat, the BBC reports. Suu Kyi's ruling party won enough seats in November's election, just the second since military rule ended in 2011, to form a government, but the armed forces disputed the result, claiming election fraud—a charge the electoral commission denies. Suu Kyi and other senior government officials were detained in early morning raids Sunday, Al Jazeera reports. On Monday, the military said it was transferring power to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, over the issue; soldiers have been deployed in the streets, and a state of emergency has been declared for one year.

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Other politicians and activists have also been detained in the hours before the new parliament was set to begin its session, and CNN reports there is a "widespread communications blackout," with phone and internet service disruptions and all TV channels except the military-owned one blocked. The coup was condemned by the UN and several countries; the US secretary of state issued a statement calling on "Burmese military leaders to release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people of Burma as expressed in democratic elections on November 8." Though Suu Kyi is widely seen as a "hero of democracy" in Myanmar, per CNN, she has come under controversy in recent years due to allegations of genocide against Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority population. (Read more Aung San Suu Kyi stories.)

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