YANGON, Myanmar (November 15 2012)--State media in Myanmar say President Thein Sein has ordered more than 450 prisoners freed in an amnesty.
It was not clear whether any political prisoners would be among them, but past amnesties have included both prisoners of conscience and common criminals.
The announcement Thursday in the state-run New Light of Myanmar came just days ahead of an expected visit by President Barack Obama, who on Monday will become the first sitting American head of state to visit the country.
Washington has repeatedly called for the release of political prisoners, and Myanmar has already released hundreds of prominent activists jailed under the former military junta that ceded power last year.
State media said some of the prisoners were foreigners who would be extradited, but it gave no details.