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Myanmar arrests 5 journalists from private journal

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YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar says it has arrested four reporters and the head of a private weekly journal for disclosing what it says are "state secrets" following publication of a story about the construction of a defense factory.

Unity journal quoted villagers as saying the factory in Pauk, a township in central Myanmar, was for production of chemical weapons — a claim the government decried as "totally baseless."

According to roadside vendors, police took all Jan. 25 editions of the journal off the shelves.

State-run television reported the arrests Wednesday night, saying the detained had violated the 1923 State Secrets Act by entering a prohibited area and disclosing state secrets.

Deputy information minister Ye Htut has acknowledged in local media that it was a Defense Ministry factory, but denied links to chemical weapons.

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