Myanmar protesters burn army uniform five months after coup

(Reuters) – Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon on Thursday, setting fire to an army uniform and chanting calls for democracy five months after a military coup ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The protest was one of the biggest in Yangon in recent weeks, although demonstrations against the army take place daily in many parts of the Southeast Asian country.

“What do we want? Democracy! Democracy!” protesters chanted as they ran through the streets with colourful smoke flares.

“For the people! For the people,” they shouted, according to video published by Reuters.

They set an army uniform ablaze before dispersing.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach a military spokesman for comment.

Myanmar’s army has struggled to impose its authority since taking power on Feb. 1. It has faced protests, strikes that have paralysed public and private sectors and a resurgence of conflicts in the borderlands.

The military authorities have branded their opponents terrorists. On Wednesday it freed more than 2,000 prisoners, most them detained since the coup.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group says more than 6,400 people have been arrested since the coup. It puts the death toll at more than 880, a number the military says is exaggerated.

The army says its takeover was in line with the constitution. It took power alleging fraud in a November election swept by Suu Kyi’s party. The former electoral commission had dismissed its accusations.

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