Myanmar’s military has seized power after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders.
Troops are patrolling streets in major cities and communications are limited. The top army commander is now in charge and a one-year state of emergency has been declared, army TV announced.
The move follows a landslide win by Ms Suu Kyi’s party in an election which the army claims was marred by fraud. She urged her supporters to “not accept this” and “protest against the coup”.
In a letter written in preparation for her impending detention, she said the military’s actions put the country back under dictatorship. Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the armed forces until 2011, when democratic reforms spearheaded by Aung San Suu Kyi ended military rule.
She spent nearly 15 years in detention between 1989 and 2010. She was internationally hailed as a beacon of democracy and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Soldiers blocked roads in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and the main city, Yangon. International and domestic TV channels, including the state broadcaster, went off air.
Internet and phone services have been disrupted. Banks said they had been forced to close and queues formed at cash machines.
One Yangon resident told Reuters news agency: “I don’t know what is happening. I am a bit scared.