Friday, September 28, 2007

Police Clash With Monks in Myanmar

The government of Myanmar began a violent crackdown today after tolerating more than a month of ever-larger protests in cities around the country, clubbing and tear-gassing protesters, firing shots into the air and arresting hundreds of the monks who are at the heart of the demonstrations....But it appeared that an attempt by the military to halt the protests through warnings, troop deployments and initial bursts of violence had not succeeded. Analysts said that the next steps in the crackdown might be yet more aggressive and widespread.... Yangon, police officers with riot shields dispersed up to 100 monks who were trying to enter the temple, firing tear gas and warning shots and knocking some monks to the ground. As many as 200 monks were reported to have been arrested at the pagoda.... That earlier peaceful uprising [in 1988] was crushed by the military, which shot into crowds, killing an estimated 3,000 people. It was during the turmoil a decade ago that the current military junta took power in Myanmar, and it has maintained its grip by arresting dissidents, quashing political opposition and using force and intimidation to control the population....

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