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Burmese Security Forces Raid Buddhist Monasteries as Crackdown Continues


Reports from Burma say security forces in Rangoon have opened fire to disperse demonstrators for the second day in a row. Earlier in the day, security forces raided at least two monasteries and took away scores of Buddhist monks. VOA's Luis Ramirez has more from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok

Witnesses say Thursday morning's raids targeted monasteries that are home to many of the monks who have led the massive demonstrations over the past week. Rangoon residents said streets were quiet early Thursday, as security forces took up positions in anticipation of new demonstrations.

Burma's military rulers are barring foreign journalists from the country, and much of the information has come from eyewitnesses on the scene.

A protester, speaking by telephone, says he doubts international pressure is swaying the military junta to exercise restraint.

"We are protesting very peacefully and they cracked down. I think [the] military regime, they don't really care about the international community," he said.

The government confirms one person was killed in Wednesday's violence, in which security forces attacked protesters with batons, tear gas and gunfire. Other sources say the number of dead is higher.

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