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US warns of response after military detains Suu Kyi, other officials

Washington, United States

The United States on Sunday urged Myanmar’s military to release detained officials, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and warned of a response from Washington.

“The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Australia on Monday demanded Myanmar’s army immediately release Suu Kyi and other elected leaders, warning the military was “once again seeking to seize control” of the country.

“We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully,” foreign minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

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Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained early Monday as part of an apparent coup, after their National League for Democracy won an election landslide.

Myanmar’s polls in November were only the second democratic elections the country has seen since it emerged from the 49-year grip of military rule in 2011.

“We strongly support the peaceful reconvening of the National Assembly, consistent with the results of the November 2020 general election,” Payne said.

On Monday, Myanmar troops seized control of Yangon city hall, as signs grow of a coup d’etat after the military arrested Suu Kyi.

Journalist saw five military trucks inside the city hall compound, with soldiers turning people away as they arrived for work.

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