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'One woman killed' as Myanmar police crack down on protests

A woman was shot and killed as police cracked down in Myanmar on Saturday to prevent opponents of military rule gathering, according to local media. 

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

Uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi's whereabouts, as the independent Myanmar Now website on Friday quoted officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.

The coup has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to Myanmar's streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions.

Police were out in force in the main city of Yangon and elsewhere on Saturday, taking up positions at usual protest sites and detaining people as they congregated, witnesses said. Several media workers were detained.

Three domestic media outlets said a woman was shot and killed in the central town of Monwya. Police there were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier, a protester in the town said police had fired water cannon as they surrounded a crowd.

"They used water cannon against peaceful protesters - they shouldn't treat people like that," Aye Aye Tint told Reuters from the town.

In Yangon, despite the police presence, people came out to chant and sing, then scatter into side streets as police advanced, firing tear gas, setting off stun grenades and firing guns into the air, witnesses said.

Similar scenes played out in the second city of Mandalay and several other towns, including Dawei in the south, witnesses and media said.

Among those detained at a Mandalay protest was Win Mya Mya, one of only two Muslim members of parliament for the NLD, media said.

Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing has said authorities were using minimal force. Nevertheless, at least three protesters have died in the weeks of turmoil. The army says a policeman was also killed.

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