Myanmar’s internet was cut off overnight on Sunday, hours after armed vehicles entered several towns, sparking fears about what happened to protesters and warnings from diplomats that “the world looking ”.
Armed cars appeared on the streets of Yangon, Myitkyina and Sittwe on Sunday, showed live footage broadcast online by local media, in the heaviest force show to date by the army since it launched a coup on February 1st.
The U.S. embassy in Myanmar warned on Sunday afternoon of reported “military movements” in the country’s capital, Yangon, and said it expected an internet access breach.
Around 1.30am, the internet monitoring service Netblocks reported that national internet connections had fallen to 14% of normal levels. Communication in Myanmar could not be reached by email or messaging apps.
The U.S. embassy urged its citizens to “set up a shelter” on Sunday afternoon after three armed vehicles were spotted in the city for the first time since the military coup.
The embassy also stated that there was “the potential for overnight telecommunications to be interrupted between 1am and 9am” (6.30pm to 2.30am GMT).
Unconfirmed video footage and photos posted on social media also showed army trucks carrying soldiers on the streets of Yangon.
A group of ambassadors in Myanmar, including delegates from the EU, US, UK and Canada, issued a statement on Sunday night raising their concerns about the closure and several people who arrests, civil servants and political leaders over the past week.
“We urge security forces to stop the violence against demonstrators and civilians, who are protesting against the abolition of their legitimate government,” the statement said.
“We support the people of Myanmar as they strive for democracy, freedom, peace and prosperity. The world is watching. “
The internet was shut down last Saturday because the complaint movement was in progress, but was withdrawn after 24 hours.
The demonstrators, mostly young people, have used the internet to organize their complaints, record and capture the police response, including firing rubber bullets. by population and, in some cases, the use of live incinerators.
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Myanmar’s largest cities for the ninth day of demonstrations against Sunday.
Army commanders are also on strike with government workers, part of a civil disobedience campaign against the cup imposed by the Aung San Suu Kyi-led civilian government.
Troops were sent to power stations in the northern state of Kachin, leading to clashes with demonstrators, some of whom said they believed the army intended to cut off electricity.
Security forces fired to disperse protesters outside one plant in Kachin state capital Myitkyina, photos broadcast live on Facebook showed, though it was unclear whether they were using rubber bullets or live tours.
Two journalists from the 74 Media, which was broadcasting live from the conflict site, were arrested along with three other journalists, the news agency said in a post on Facebook.
Many of the protesters across the country kept images of Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s face. Her arrest, on charges of installing walkie-talkies, is expected to end Monday. Her lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, could not be reached for reference.
More than 384 people were detained from the cup, the Association for the Support of Political Prisoners Association said, in a wave of mostly nightmares.
“While the international community criticizes the trophy, Min Aung Hlaing is using all his tools to incite fear and instability,” said campaigner Wai Hnin Pwint Thon from the UK-based rights group Burma Campaign UK on Twitter, referring to the army chief.
Many protesters in Yangon had signs calling on authorities to “stop kidnapping at night”.