Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders have been detained as the military seized power in the Asian country.
Troops are patrolling the streets and a night-time curfew is in force, with a one-year state of emergency declared.
President Joe Biden raised the threat of new sanctions, with the UN also condemning the coup.
The army alleges the recent landslide election win by Aung San Suu Kyi’s party was marred by fraud. She urged supporters to “protest against the coup”.
In a letter written in preparation for Suu Kyi’s impending detention, she said the military’s actions would put the country back under a dictatorship.
The military has already announced replacements for a number of ministers.
On the streets of Myanmar’s main city, Yangon, people said they felt their hard-fought battle for democracy had been lost.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the armed forces until 2011, when democratic reforms led by Aung San Suu Kyi ended military rule.
Aung San Suu Kyi spent nearly 15 years in detention between 1989 and 2010. She was internationally hailed as a beacon of democracy and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
However, her international reputation suffered severely following an army crackdown on the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority. Former supporters accused Aung San Suu Kyi of refusing to condemn the military or acknowledge accounts of atrocities.
In the early hours of February 1, the army’s TV station said power had been handed over to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) were arrested in a series of raids. It is not clear where they are being held.
No major violence has been reported. Soldiers blocked roads in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and the main city, Yangon. International and domestic TV channels, including the state broadcaster, went off air. Internet and phone services were disrupted. Banks said they had been forced to close.
Later, the military announced that 24 ministers and deputies had been removed, and 11 replacements had been named, including in finance, health, the interior and foreign affairs.
A curfew is now reportedly in effect from 20:00 local time to 06:00.
The army takeover follows weeks of tensions between the armed forces and the government following parliamentary elections lost by the army-backed opposition.
The opposition had demanded a re-run of the election, raising allegations of widespread fraud that were not backed by the electoral commission.