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Burmese Authorities Lift Curfew in Rangoon

Burmese authorities Saturday lifted a curfew and ban on gatherings of more than five people in the country's largest city of Rangoon.

The announcement was made from loudspeaker trucks driving through the city's streets.

The military government initially imposed a 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew last month as part of a government crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations across the country. It had since been reduced to just four hours a night.

It is not clear if the curfew imposed in Burma's second largest city of Mandalay has been lifted as well.

On Friday, U.S. President George Bush announced new sanctions against Burma's military government, for its continued persecution of the pro-democracy opposition.

He ordered the U.S. Treasury Department to put additional economic restrictions on Burma's leaders and individuals who support them. He also instructed the Commerce Department to tighten its export controls for Burma.

The president also urged Burma's neighbors - naming China and India - to put more pressure on the military government. He also praised the European Union and Australia for imposing sanctions.

Burmese authorities have continued to arrest protesters who participated in demonstrations last month. The government says hundreds are still being held and interrogated.

The president said if the Burmese government wants reconciliation it must release all political prisoners and enter negotiations with the opposition.

He said additional sanctions against the government are possible.

Last month, Mr. Bush applied sanctions to most of the top military commanders in Burma.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP .