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Myanmar: Germany urges citizens to leave as fears grow over instability

The foreign ministry took the decision as it witnessed increasing violence in Myanmar. It said the situation is "unpredictable" after more than 500 people died since protests began following the February 1 coup.

Anti-coup protesters run around their makeshift barricade during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar

More than 500 anti-coup protesters have died since the military seized power on February 1

Germany advised its citizens to leave Myanmar late due to "an unpredictable security situation" amid a crackdown on anti-coup protests that has left hundreds dead.

In a statement published late Tuesday evening, Germany's Foreign Ministry strongly recommended leaving Myanmar, following in the footsteps of Great Britain, particularly while commercial flights are still available.

In addition, German nationals still in the country were urged to avoid crowds and not participate in protests.

The ministry made the move as a result of a "further increase in the use of force by the security forces," the ministry said in a travel advisory published on its website.

US orders diplomats to leave

The United States has also ordered its non-essential diplomats and their families to leave Myanmar. Washington also issued advice to its citizens, warning against travel to Myanmar, and saying it had ordered all non-essential government employees and their families to leave.

The decision was taken to protect their safety, the State Department said, amid growing violence following the February 1 military coup that removed  civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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More than 500 dead

Daily protests against the coup have ensued, with demonstrators demanding the restoration of the elected government.

The protests have been met with a military crackdown that has left more than 500 civilians dead since the coup, in which the government was ousted and most of its members arrested.

Observers assume that many more deaths have not been reported. The brutal response of Myanmar's military and security forces have also resulted in widespread international condemnation.

Aung San Suu Kyi in 'good' health

Meanwhile, Suu Kyi's attorney said her client appeared to be in "good" health when they talked over her legal case in a video meeting on Wednesday.

The junta has leveled a range of charges against Suu Kyi, including violations of import-export, telecommunication and disaster management laws, as well as accusations of incitement.

And Min Min Soe, one of a team of lawyers representing Suu Kyi, recalled an account by Khin Maung Zaw, another attorney for the 75-year-old Nobel laureate, as she reflected on the positive condition of her client.

Min Min Soe had to report to a police station in order to conduct the online meeting and the attorney had police officers in close attendance throughout the virtual conversation.

Suu Kyi asked the guards who were in the same room as her to leave in order to have a personal meeting with her attorneys. It's not clear how they reacted to this, but lawyers say previous requests have always been turned down.

jsi/rs (AFP, dpa)

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