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Myanmar: Protests swell despite junta’s threat of lethal force

Protesters have again gathered in Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, despite the ruling junta’s threat to use deadly force against people who join a general strike against the military’s takeover three weeks ago.

More than 1,000 protesters assembled on Monday near the US Embassy, despite barriers blocking the way, but were forced to leave as some twenty military trucks with riot police arrived nearby.

Peaceful marches however continued in other parts of the city, including next to Sule Pagoda, a traditional gathering point.

Throughout Monday, factories, workplaces and shops were closed across Myanmar in response to the call for a nationwide strike.

The closures extended to the capital, Naypyidaw, where many more protesters held rallies demanding the reversal of the February 1 coup and the release of elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other detained former government officials.

The junta had warned against a general strike in a public announcement on Sunday night, using the medium of state television broadcaster, MRTV, to convey a thinly-veiled threat to marching tens of thousands of anti-coup demonstrators.

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