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Old 26-09-2007, 01:33 PM   #140 (permalink)
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Burma riot police beat protesters
Wednesday, 26 September 2007,

Burmese police have used batons to beat back protesters including monks at the Rangoon pagoda used as a rallying-point for marchers, eyewitnesses say.

They baton-charged a crowd of civilians and monks outside the Shwedagon Pagoda as demonstrators readied for a ninth day of protest marches.

Police and troops have been ringing Buddhist monasteries in the city.
Analysts fear a repeat of the violence in 1988, when troops opened fire on unarmed protestors, killing thousands.

In a further sign that the military authorities are cracking down, two key dissidents were arrested.

It appears that small groups of monks seem set on defying calls by the military to end their daily protests, says the BBC's Asia correspondent, Andrew Harding.

The protesters had turned up at Shwedagon, which was blocked off by security forces, in defiance of a ban on all public gatherings of more than five people, and a night-time curfew. Police beat their shields with their batons and yelled orders to disperse before chasing scores of monks and their supporters.

Eyewitnesses say some protesters fell to the ground amid the chaos.
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