image sourceReutersimage captionKyaw Moe Tun is a vocal critic of Myanmar's military rulers

Two Myanmar citizens have been arrested in the US for allegedly plotting to kill or injure Myanmar's UN ambassador.

The US attorney's office in New York said Phyo Hein Htut and Ye Hein Zaw had planned to hire attackers to force Kyaw Moe Tun to step down.

He is a vocal critic of Myanmar's military rulers, who seized power in a coup on 1 February.

The junta later fired him – but he continues to represent the country's civilian government at the world body.

Myanmar's military has so far made no public comments on the issue.

  • Myanmar coup: What is happening and why?

Hundreds of people, including children, have been killed in mass street protests that erupted after the coup.

Elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party are among those detained.

"Phyo Hein Htut and Ye Hein Zaw plotted to seriously injure or kill Myanmar's ambassador to the United Nations in a planned attack on a foreign official that was to take place on American soil," US Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement on Friday.

"We commend the tireless work of our law enforcement partners at all levels of government to ensure the safety of foreign diplomats and officials."

Earlier this year, Mr Zaw, 28, is believed to have transferred $4,000 (£2,880) to Mr Htut, 20, through an app as advance payment for the planned attack.

The alleged plotters are expected to appear in court in New York later on Friday.

media captionThe police defecting as a new civil war looms in Myanmar