Myanmar’s military has seized power after detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of her governing party.
All authority has been given to the top army commander and a one-year state of emergency has been declared, a statement on military TV said.
The coup follows a landslide win by Ms Suu Kyi’s party in an election which the army claims was marred by fraud.
She urged her supporters to “not accept this” and “protest against the coup”.
In a letter written in preparation for her impending detention, she said the military’s actions put the country back under dictatorship.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the armed forces until 2011, when democratic reforms spearheaded by Aung San Suu Kyi ended military rule.
She 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.
How did the coup unfold?
In the early hours of Monday the army’s TV station said power had been handed over to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Ms Suu Kyi and other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) were arrested.
Soldiers blocked roads in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and the main city, Yangon. The state broadcaster went off air.
Data and communications services have been disrupted. Banks said they had been forced to close and queues formed at cash machines.
One Yangon resident told Reuters news agency: “I don’t know what is happening. I am a bit scared.”
The military says it found millions of irregularities in parliamentary elections lost by the army-back opposition in November. The election commission has rejected the fraud claims.
But the army had threatened to “take action” and now says it will use its emergency powers to organise a new vote.