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  • Myanmar coup

Image source, ReutersImage caption, Thousands of people were arrested following the coup in February

Myanmar says it will release more than 5,000 prisoners who were jailed for protesting against February's coup.

Thousands of people were detained during bloody demonstrations after military leaders seized power.

Myanmar's leader Gen Min Aung Hlaing said the 5,636 prisoners would be freed for humanitarian reasons.

It comes days after the general was excluded from an annual summit of regional leaders, who said the military had not done enough to end the turmoil.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) agreed to invite a non-political representative from Myanmar instead of Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

At least 1,178 people were killed and 7,355 arrested, charged or sentenced during a crackdown on dissent that followed Aung Sun Suu Kyi being ousted from power, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Gen Min Aung Hlaing said the prisoners would be released to mark the Buddhist holiday Thadingyut later in October.

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Speaking on television, the junta chief insisted the military leaders were committed to peace and democracy.

He said his government had its own five-stage plan to restore democracy.

The authorities released more than 2,000 anti-coup protesters in July.

Media caption, "They have guns but we have people": Inside Myanmar’s Spring Revolution