£500m of drugs including cannabis and heroin burned by Myanmar authorities

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Almost £500m worth of drugs and precursors have been burned by Myanmar's military authorities.

Heroin, cannabis, methamphetamine and ketamine were among substances disposed of in the haul valued at £489m.

Stockpiles were set ablaze in Yangon, Mandalay and Tauggyi, on the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

A week ago, the UN's General Assembly passed a motion condemning Myanmar's military regime after it seized power from democratic politicians earlier this year.

The UN demanded the release of arrested civilian leaders and called for an arms embargo.

The junta took control on 1 February after the military's proxy party was thoroughly beaten by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy in last year's election.

Generals claimed there was widespread voter fraud, but have not yet shown any evidence to support this claim.

Experts have warned that the instability in the country following the takeover could cause an increase in drug production and provide more opportunities for trafficking.

Myanmar is a big producer of synthetic drugs, with much of it made in remote border regions.

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