Britain urges citizens to leave Myanmar over rising violence

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Women's sarongs hang in a street during a protest against the military coup in Yangon

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain urged its citizens on Friday to leave Myanmar or, if they are unable to exit the country, to stay at home, saying violence was rising after the army ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's government in a Feb. 1 coup.

The move comes a day after a rights group said security forces killed 12 protesters and as the lawyer of deposed leader Suu Kyi ridiculed new bribery allegations against her.

"The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises British Nationals to leave the country by commercial means, unless there is an urgent need to stay," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Political tension and unrest are widespread since the military takeover and levels of violence are rising."

Britain has condemned the violence in Myanmar and has called for the restoration of democracy, signalling earlier this week that it was exploring additional sanctions on the country.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper)