Former Myanmar strongman Than Shwe hospitalized

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BANGKOK (AP) — An official says the former longtime military ruler of Myanmar, Than Shwe, has been hospitalized with an unspecified illness. The employee of a military hospital in the capital confirmed that 88-year-old Than Shwe is being treated under tight security at a VIP section of the facility. Myanmar has been struggling with one of the worst COVID-19 surges in Southeast Asia, and reports have swirled in recent days that the reclusive retired leader may have become infected along with his wife. The hospital source could not confirm Than Shwe’s illness or whether his wife was also hospitalized. Than Shwe led a feared junta that brutally crushed dissent and routinely jailed political opponents.

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