Appearance of military vehicles in Myanmar's major cities sparks warning from US Embassy

Appearance of military vehicles in Myanmar's major cities sparks warning from US Embassy
© Getty Images

The U.S. Embassy in Myanmar on Sunday warned American citizens in that country to “shelter in place” as armored vehicles began rolling through major cities.

Reuters reported armored vehicles appeared in the cities of Yangon, Myitkyina and Sittwe. The news service noted this is the first large-scale rollout of such vehicles to occur in the country since the military on Feb. 1 overthrew the democratically elected government.

Security forces were also deployed by Myanmar’s military junta and sent to power plants on Sunday, Reuters reported, causing a confrontation with demonstrators who feared the government would cut off electricity. Shots were fired at the demonstrators to disperse them, according to Reuters, though it is currently unclear whether the bullets were rubber or live fire.

ADVERTISEMENT

Two journalists from The 74 Media were arrested, the outlet said in a Facebook post. The reporters had been broadcasting live from the scene of the confrontation.

Government workers have also staged a strike in response to the coup, Reuters reported, with the junta ordering them to return to work with the threat of action if they do not. Myanmar-based analyst Richard Horsey told Reuters that the strikes by civil servants have caused many government departments to cease functioning.

“This has the potential to also affect vital functions — the military can replace engineers and doctors, but not power grid controllers and central bankers,” Horsey said.

In addition to warning people to shelter in place, the U.S. Embassy also cautioned there was a “possibility of telecommunications interruptions overnight between 1:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m,” Reuters reported.

Around a dozen embassies for Western countries such as the U.K. and Canada called on the Burmese security forces to "refrain from violence against demonstrators and civilians, who are protesting the overthrow of their legitimate government."

President BidenJoe BidenJan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms MORE last week announced sanctions against military commanders in Myanmar in response to the coup. The U.S. will also redirect $42.4 million of assistance away from the country's government and instead funnel it to civil society and private sector projects.