March 17, 2021, 04.34 PM

"The military is attempting to overturn the results of a democratic election and is brutally repressing peaceful protesters," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a news conference in Tokyo.

UN calls to 'stop killing'

State broadcaster MRTV said martial law had been imposed in parts of Yangon and military commanders would take over administration of districts and courts.

The UN human rights office said some 37 journalists had been arrested, including 19 who remained in detention, while "deeply distressing" reports of torture in custody had emerged and five people were known to have died in detention.

Also readIndonesian Foreign Minister Calls Off Myanmar Visit

"We call on the military to stop killing and detaining protesters," the office's spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, said in Geneva.

Strikes spike food prices

A civil disobedience campaign of strikes is paralyzing large parts of the economy and could undermine the ability of poor families to feed themselves, the UN World Food Program (WFP) warned.

The WFP said the price of rice was up as much as 35 percent in parts of the north and prices of cooking oil and pulses were also higher, while the cost of fuel had risen by 15 percent since February 1.

"These rising food and fuel prices are compounded by the near paralysis of the banking sector, slowdowns in remittances, and widespread limits on cash availability," the WFP said.

The army took power after its accusations of fraud in a November 8 election won by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) was rejected by the electoral commission.

Reuters

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