Former beauty pageant queen, 32, takes up arms against Myanmar’s military coup

A former beauty pageant queen has joined Myanmar's fight against its military junta, posing for photos with an assault rifle on social media.

Miss Grand International pageant queen, Htar Htet Htet represented Myanmar in the 2013 beauty contest in Thailand, competing with other women in categories like swimsuit modelling and national costume.

But now she's taking a stand against armed groups that have taken over the jungles around the country's border.

The 32-year-old gymnastics instructor posted a picture to her Facebook page dressed in black combat fatigues and armed with an assault rifle.

She wrote: "The time has come to fight back.

"Whether you hold a weapon, pen, keyboard or donate money to the pro-democracy movement, everyone must do their bit for the revolution to succeed.

"I will fight back as much as I can. I am ready and prepared to give up everything. I am even ready to pay with my life."

Myanmar's economy has been crippled and the country in chaos since the military seized power by ousting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.

Tuesday marked 100 days since the violence broke out.

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Despite the dangers, crowds gathered in Yangon to demand a return to democracy, putting their lives at risk.

Security forces have arrested 39 people suspected of being behind explosions and arson attacks.

Those arrested are also suspected of trying to get military training with a rebel group, however these claims were made in publications controlled by the junta.

The forces have also reportedly seized 48 "handmade mines", 20 sticks of TNT, detonators, fuses, Global New Light of Myanmar reports. It is believed other explosive materials including gunpowder had also been found.

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In Kayah State in the east, suspects have also been arrested for trying to join military training with a rebel group.

A family member of well-known actor Khant Sithu is believed to be among those arrested.

The family member, who declined to be identified by Myanmar publications, said Khant Sithu had joined protests but pulled out when authorities began to crack down.

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