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Myanmar protesters trapped in late-night standoff as military targets media

March 9, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20%. 1 min read.

An anti-coup protester discharges a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of the tear gas fired by police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, March 8, 2021. Large protests have occurred daily across many cities and towns in Myanmar. (AP Photo)

A post-coup crackdown by Myanmar's military appeared to intensify Monday as security forces revoked the licenses of five independent media companies before a late-night standoff that saw hundreds of young protesters trapped in Yangon.

(CNN)A post-coup crackdown by Myanmar's military appeared to intensify Monday as security forces revoked the licenses of five independent media companies before a late-night standoff that saw hundreds of young protesters trapped in Yangon.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, activists said the trapped protesters were able to leave the Sanchuang district after security forces left and a curfew lifted.

Military trucks and security forces were seen leaving around 2 a. m. and protesters began exiting after 4 a. m. Volunteers were on standby to give the fleeing protesters free rides home.

Activist Maung Saungkha said there were cat and mouse exchanges throughout the day between police and protesters, who had run into buildings to hide as security forces tried to disperse them.

The standoff came as the military junta revoked the licenses of five independent media outlets that had been fearlessly reporting on the coup and subsequent protests.

Paul Donowitz, Myanmar Campaign Leader at rights group Global Witness, said the media crackdown showed the military was "attempting to return the country to its darkest days. "

Independent reporting is all the more important in the current context, helping to counter the military's misinformation campaigns and provide the public and activists with objective accounts of what is really going on in the wake of the coup," he said.

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