CAPTAIN AMERICA IS BACK …
HELP IS COMING …
YANGON (AFP) – People barricaded in a Yangon neighbourhood overnight said yesterday that security forces searched their homes room by room for anti-coup protesters, targeting apartments flying the flag of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted and detained Suu Kyi last month, triggering daily protests around the country to demand the junta restore democracy.
Crowds once again flocked to central San Chaung township in the commercial hub to call for Suu Kyi’s release from custody in a Monday protest coinciding with International Women’s Day.
By nightfall, security forces had sealed off a block of streets with around 200 protesters still inside, according to the UN rights office, prompting alarm from diplomatic missions and calls for their safe release.
Sharp loud bangs were heard coming from the area, although it was not clear if the sounds were caused by gunfire or stun grenades.
Security forces started searching apartments after a nightly internet shutdown blanketed the country at 1am local time, residents said, particularly those flying the red and gold flag of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party on their balconies.
“They searched every building on Kyun Taw road – they destroyed the locks of apartment buildings if they were locked downstairs,” said the resident, adding that she heard dozens were arrested.
By dawn, security forces appeared to have retreated, allowing some protesters to escape from the area.
The move to seal off streets in San Chaung prompted embassies in Yangon – including those of the United States and former colonial power Britain – to urge security forces to free the demonstrators.