MANDALAY (AFP, REUTERS) : Martial law was declared Monday (Feb 8) in seven townships in Myanmar’s second biggest city, Mandalay, officials said.
People are banned from protesting or gathering in groups of more than five, and a curfew will run from 8pm until 4am, the general administration department said in a statement.
The announcement comes after tens of thousands of people joined a third day of street demonstrations in towns and cities across the country to denounce the military for seizing power and detaining elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi last Monday.
Myanmar police had on Monday warned protesters to disperse or face force shortly after state television signalled impending action to stifle the mass demonstrations.
In the capital Naypyitaw, three lines of police in riot gear could be seen across a road as protesters chanted anti-coup slogans and told police they should serve the people not the military, according to media and a live feed of events.
Police placed a sign in the road saying that live ammunition could be used if demonstrators breached the third line of officers.
Earlier, police in Naypyitaw briefly turned water cannon on protesters.
Reuters has been unable to contact the junta for comment on the protests, but state media signalled possible action against them in the first comment from any government channel, saying the public wanted rid of “wrongdoers”.
“We, the whole people who value justice, freedom, equality, peace and safety, not only refuse to accept the lawless wrongdoers but also request that they be prevented and removed through cooperation,” the MRTV television station said in a comment. Though not attributed to any authority or group, it was later read out on a military-owned network.
THE STRAITS TIMES