Burma's military government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Rangoon and Mandalay as part of efforts to end pro-democracy demonstrations led by Buddhist monks.
Officials used loudspeakers to announce the curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time. The announcement said Rangoon is now under the direct control of the city's military commander for 60 days.
Earlier Tuesday, the government deployed hundreds of troops and riot police in the capital, after another march by tens of thousands of Buddhist monks and their supporters.
Meanwhile, President Bush announced more strict economic sanctions on Burma, while the European Union urged the military regime to refrain from attacking the demonstrators.
On Monday, Burma's government warned monks to stay out of politics. The country's religious affairs minister, Brigadier General Thura Myint Maung threatened on state television to take action against the protesting monks.
Opposition activists began the non-violent protests last month over a steep increase in gas prices. After the monks joined last week, the demonstrations spread across the country, becoming the largest pro-democracy movement the country has seen since 1988.
Burma has been ruled by a military government since 1962. The current military leaders have been widely criticized for human rights violations and the detention of more than 1,000 political activists, including pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.