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US calls detentions in Myanmar a coup, promises sanctions

Biden administration officials previously had held off on classifying the military’s weekend roundup of Myanmar’s top elected officials as a takeover. State Department officials said Tuesday they were satisfied it met the legal definition of a coup, setting the stage for sanctions and other measures against those believed responsible.

Myanmar’s military stand guard at a checkpoint manned with an armored vehicles blocking a road leading to the parliament building Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
Myanmar’s military stand guard at a checkpoint manned with an armored vehicles blocking a road leading to the parliament building Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Hundreds of members of Myanmar’s Parliament remained confined inside their government housing in the country’s capital on Tuesday, a day after the military staged a coup and detained senior politicians including Nobel laureate and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
AP

The military detention of Myanmar’s civilian leaders was a coup, U.S. State Department officials said Tuesday, and promised sanctions and other measures targeting “the very small circle of military generals” responsible.

Biden administration officials previously had held off on classifying the military’s weekend roundup of Myanmar’s top elected officials as a takeover. State Department officials said Tuesday they were satisfied it met the legal definition of a coup, setting the stage for sanctions and other measures against those believed responsible.

Humanitarian assistance to Myanmar’s people would not be affected by whatever penalties the U.S. decides on, a State Department official said.