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US Senate Condemns Burmese Crackdown on Minorities

The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution condemning the Burmese military junta for its recent crackdown on ethnic minorities.

Earlier this month rights groups accused Burma's military of violent attacks on ethnic Karen people, including rape, murder, torture and forced labor. Reports say more than 10,000 Karen have fled their homes.

The Senate measure approved late Thursday also urges the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and all other prisoners of conscience in Burma.

Senator Mitch McConnell said in a statement that the resolution reflects the Senate's grave concern about the deteriorating situation in Burma.

McConnell also urged a U.N. envoy now visiting Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, to cut his visit short if he is not allowed to visit Aung San Suu Kyi or meet with top Burmese leader, Than Shwe.