Armored Vehicles Roll Into Myanmar, Internet Shut Down

Western diplomats warn Myanmar military that 'the world is watching'

Myanmar protesters undeterred as armoured vehicles hit the streets

Protesters across Myanmar on Monday continued to defy the coup imposed in the country by the military remaining undeterred by the junta's deployment of armoured vehicles in several parts of the country and more soldiers on streets.

The February 1 coup and the arrest of Nobel peace prize victor Suu Kyi and others have sparked the biggest protests in Myanmar in more than a decade, with hundreds of thousands coming onto the streets to denounce the military's derailment of a tentative transition to democracy. Soldiers had been deployed to power plants in Kachin, sparking a confrontation with protesters.

But violence has been limited this time though police haveopened fire several times, mostly with rubber bullets, todisperse protesters.

As evening fell, armoured vehicles appeared in the commercial capital of Yangon, Myitkyina and Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, live footage broadcast online by local media showed, the first large-scale rollout of such vehicles across the country since the coup.

The government and army could not be reached for comment. All four telecommunications networks were inaccessible from about 1 a.m. on Monday (1830GMT), they said.

Neither has been seen in public since they were detained in dawn raids on February 1, the day of the coup.

Attempts by United States authorities to contact her have been rejected by the military.

An internet outage that was reportedly scheduled from 1 a.m.to 9 a.m. continued overnight. The internet was largely running again in the morning, the organization Netblocks said.

"Hope that everyone stays safe tonight amidst very concerning reports of military activity".

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.

"It's as if the generals have declared war on the people", UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said on Twitter. Soldiers were surrounding the global airport in Yangon late on Sunday night, he said. In response, the military on Saturday ordered civil servants to return to work.

The majority of people in attendance Monday said they have family in Myanmar whom they are unable to contact, after the military cut off phone and Internet service in the country.

But hundreds of railway workers joined demonstrations in Yangon on Sunday, even as police went to their housing compound on the outskirts of the city to order them back to work.

Resistance also took place in cyberspace, as a group calling itself BrotherHood of Myanmar Hackers defaced the government's Myanmar Digital News website, replacing content on its home page with words and pictures against the military takeover.

Hundreds of thousands of people protested across the nation on Sunday.

Suu Kyi, 75, spent almost 15 years under house arrest for her efforts to end military rule and is again being kept under guard at her home in Naypyitaw.

The shutdown comes after a day of protesters taking to the streets in defiance of heavy troop presence around Yangon - although turnout was smaller than in recent days. In the southeastern coastal town of Dawei, a band played drums as crowds marched under the hot sun.

Suu Kyi's detention is due to expire on Monday.

She has already been charged with importing walkie talkies, but lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told local media she was facing a second charge of violating the country's Natural Disaster Law.

An activist group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, said it had recorded 426 arrests between the coup and Monday and it feared the military was using internet blackouts to arrest more opponents, particularly after it suspended legal constraints on search and detention powers.

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