Friday, September 28, 2007

Myanmar soldiers fire weapons, tear gas into crowds of protesters

Soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of anti-government protesters Thursday as tens of thousands defied the ruling military junta's crackdown with a 10th straight day of demonstrations....Some reports said the dead included monks, who are widely revered in Myanmar, and the emergence of such martyr figures could stoke public anger against the regime and escalate the violence....Shots were fired after several thousand protesters on the west side of the river ignored orders to disband.... A monk at Ngwe Kyar Yan monastery pointed to bloodstains on the concrete floor and said a number of monks were beaten and at least 100 of its 150 monks taken away in vehicles. Shots were fired in the air during the chaotic raid, he said on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. "Soldiers slammed the monastery gate with the car, breaking the lock and forcing it into the monastery," the monk said. "They smashed the doors down, broke windows and furniture. When monks resisted, they shot at the monks and used tear gas and beat up the monks and dragged into trucks."

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