THE BBC is “extremely concerned” after one of its journalists was abducted by armed thugs while reporting in Myanmar.
The broadcaster said Aung Thura was “taken away” by unidentified men in the capital Naypyidaw this morning.
He had been covering the military coup in the country when he was taken at approximately midday local time (5am in the UK).
“We are extremely concerned about our BBC News Burmese Reporter, Aung Thura, who was taken away by unidentified men”, the BBC’s press team said on Twitter.
“The BBC takes the safety of all its staff in Myanmar very seriously and we are doing everything we can to find Aung Thura.
“We call on the authorities to help locate him and confirm that he is safe
“Aung Thura is an accredited BBC journalist with many years of reporting experience covering events in Nay Pyi Taw.”
More than 30 journalists have been arrested by the military in Myanmar over their reporting of the coup, with at least 18 still in detention.
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has been in chaos since the army seized power and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party on Feb 1.
They alleged fraud in a November election after her party won in a landslide.
The coup, which brought a halt to tentative steps towards democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule, has drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets and the condemnation of Western countries.
While some Western countries have imposed limited sanctions, the generals have traditionally shrugged off diplomatic pressure.
They have promised to hold a “free and fair” election once the state of emergency is over, but not set a date.
Police fired have fired bullets, tear gas, water cannons and stun grenades at protesters during demonstrators.
At least 18 people were killed on the deadliest day of the anti-coup rallies.
Suu Kyi’s party and supporters said the result of the November vote must be respected.
Suu Kyi, 75, who spent nearly 15 years under house arrest, faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.
Power has been handed over to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Following the coup, he said the military was on the side of the people and would form a “true and disciplined democracy”.
Courtesy – Thesun.co.uk