YANGON, Feb 27: Police in Myanmar escalated their crackdown on demonstrators against this month’s military takeover, deploying early and in force on Saturday as protesters sought to assemble in the country’s two biggest cities and elsewhere.

Security forces in areas appeared to become more aggressive in using force and making arrests, utilising more plainclothes officers. Photos posted on social media showed that residents of at least two cities, Yangon and Monywa, resisted by erecting makeshift street barricades to try to hinder the advance of the police.

Myanmar’s crisis took a dramatic turn on the global stage at a special session of the UNGA  on Friday when the country’s UN Ambassador declared his loyalty to the ousted civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi and called on the world to pressure the military to cede power.

There were arrests on Saturday in Myanmar’s two biggest cities, Yangon and Mandalay, where demonstrators have been hitting the streets daily to demand the restoration of the government of Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won a landslide poll victory in November. Police have increasingly been enforcing an order by the junta banning gatherings of five or more people.– AP