Watch: Buses carrying freed prisoners leave Yangon jail on Myanmar's independence day

Myanmar's junta said it would hold "free and fair" multiparty elections as it marked Independence Day on Wednesday, days after increasing democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi's jail term to 33 years.

Swaths of the Southeast Asian country have been engulfed by fighting between junta troops and anti-coup rebels since the military seized power almost two years ago.

The junta, which recently wrapped up a series of closed-court trials of Suu Kyi, is preparing for fresh elections later this year that the United States has said would be a "sham".