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UPDATE 2-U.S. puts sanctions on two Myanmar generals over coup

·2 min read

(Adds details about the generals, Blinken statement,background)

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The United States on Mondayimposed sanctions on two members of Myanmar's military junta andthreatened further actions over the country's Feb. 1 coup.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Controlsaid the move took aim at General Maung Maung Kyaw, who is theair force commander in chief, and Lieutenant General Moe MyintTun, a former army chief of staff and commander of one of themilitary's special operations bureaus which oversee operationsfrom the capital, Naypyidaw.

"The military must reverse its actions and urgently restorethe democratically elected government in Burma, or the TreasuryDepartment will not hesitate to take further action," thedepartment said in a statement.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed the threat."We will not hesitate to take further action against those whoperpetrate violence and suppress the will of the people,"Blinken said in a statement.

A general strike against military rule shut businesses inMyanmar on Monday and huge crowds gathered peacefully despitefears of violence after authorities warned that confrontationcould be deadly.

Three weeks after seizing power, the junta has failed tostop the daily protests and a civil disobedience movementcalling for the reversal of the coup and release of electedleader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"We call on the military and police to cease all attacks onpeaceful protesters, immediately release all those unjustlydetained, stop attacks on and intimidation of journalists andactivists, and restore the democratically elected government,"Blinken said.

Like several military officers named in the first round ofU.S. sanctions on Myanmar since the coup, both generalsblacklisted on Monday have been appointed as members of thejunta's State Administration Council.

Their designation freezes any U.S. assets they may have andgenerally bars Americans from dealing with them.(Reporting by Eric Beech, Simon Lewis and Daphne Psaledakis;Editing by Moammad Zargham, Gerry Doyle and Sam Holmes)