Anti-coup strike paralyzes Myanmar economy

People across Myanmar went on a general strike on Monday to protest the military coup earlier this month. Local media say millions of people took part in demonstrations.

In the largest city of Yangon, most shopping malls and supermarkets, as well as local markets and retailers, were closed.

The city was effectively paralyzed, as factories, banks, railways, and buses halted their operations.

People also staged demonstrations across the country. Media reports say it was the largest protest since the military detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of the ruling party and declared a state of emergency on February 1.

There were no reports of major clashes between protesters and security authorities on Monday. But in the capital Naypyitaw, more than 150 protesters were reportedly detained temporarily.

The state-run television quoted the military's leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, as saying that the military is controlling the situation carefully.

He reportedly suggested that only four people have died in the widespread protests and that the death toll is smaller than similar demonstrations in other countries.

The remarks will likely draw further backlash from citizens.

The security forces are facing criticism in Myanmar and abroad after they opened fire on protesters, resulting in casualties.