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More Arrests in Fourth Day of Burma Protests


Reports from Burma say authorities on the outskirts of Rangoon have detained another group of demonstrators protesting against a steep rise in fuel prices.

At least 10 activists were arrested today just as they prepared to begin a protest march - the fourth such rally since the first on Sunday.

Witnesses said at least 30 demonstrators marched Thursday in Rangoon. They say some of the demonstrators were beaten, dragged into vehicles and driven away.

Witnesses say 300 people participated in a rally Wednesday, just one day after the government arrested 13 prominent democracy activists.

The United States and members of the international community are calling for constructive dialogue in Burma. A UN official says Thursday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned about reports that Burmese authorities have arrested student leaders and others during the protests.

The United States condemned the arrests of pro-democracy activists Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and is calling for their immediate release.

New Zealand, Canada and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus have also called for the release of the protesters and activists. They have voiced concern about what they call the Burmese government's disregard for freedom and democracy.

Public protests are rare in Burma, but unrest is growing over fuel prices. This month, the government doubled the price of fuel, making it difficult for people to afford transportation.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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