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Myanmar’s internet goes down for third night running

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A protester holds up a sign calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyidaw on February 16, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP)

Myanmar experienced a “near-total internet shutdown” for the third night in a row, a monitoring group said early Wednesday, plunging the country into an information blackout amid protests against the military junta.

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Since the military staged a coup on February 1 and ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power, it has imposed several internet shutdowns.

The last two nights have seen the internet in Myanmar go down from 1:00 am to 9:00 am, and Wednesday was no different.

“Confirmed: #Myanmar is in the midst of a near-total internet shutdown for the third night in a row amid anti-coup protests,” tweeted NetBlocks, a Britain-based group that monitors internet outages around the world.

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It said internet connectivity had dropped to just 19 percent of ordinary levels.

The blackouts have left the public on edge, and neighbourhood watch groups have cropped up across Myanmar to stand guard against arbitrary arrests of protesters.

More than 420 people have been arrested since the coup, according to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners monitoring group.

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