Hundreds of towers destroyed in Myanmar coup resistance

17 December 2021

More than 400 telecommunication towers in military-ruled Myanmar have been destroyed by opponents of a February 1 coup, attacks which operators said had severed connectivity for many customers.

A report by newswire Reuters said the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, the junta’s mouthpiece, claims the destruction of the towers was intended to undermine the government.

The military has previously shut down the internet in many areas to try to disrupt its opponents during protests and strikes.

“Terrorists are attempting to hamper the implementation of the future activities of the nation and to overthrow the government’s administrative machinery,” the newspaper reported, adding that 88% of the 409 towers destroyed are owned by Mytel, a partly army-controlled firm.

Militias allied with a shadow Myanmar government have claimed responsibility for damaging some towers but have said the military also contributed to the damage by planting mines near some facilities.

Since the coup, Myanmar’s security forces have reportedly killed more than 1,300 people and arrested thousands in a bid to crush resistance, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local non-governmental organisation.