Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the ruling party were detained in an early morning raid, the spokesman for the governing National League for Democracy said on Monday (local time), according to Reuters.
The move came after days of escalating tension between the civilian government and the powerful military that stirred fears of a coup in the aftermath of an election the army says was fraudulent.
Spokesman Myo Nyunt told Reuters that Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders had been “taken” in the early hours of the morning.
“I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law,” he said, adding he also expected to be detained.
The Myanmar army said it had carried out the detentions in response to “election fraud”, according to a statement on a military-owned television station.
Following Suu Kyi’s arrest, it was reported that Myanmar state TV had stopped its broadcasts. The station said in a post on Facebook it is having "technical errors" and is currently unable to broadcast.
Suu Kyi has come under criticism in recent years for her country's persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority.
In 2017, the US withdrew its military assistance to Myanmar, dropped Myanmar from the US visa waiver program, and considered imposing sanctions on the country.
In 2018, the US Holocaust Memorial and Museum rescinded a human rights award it gave to Suu Kyi because of her failure to oppose the ethnic cleansing and possible genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.