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Burmese Troops Deploy Hundreds of Troops in Rangoon


Burma's military government has deployed hundreds of troops and riot police in the capital, Rangoon, where Buddhist monks have refused to end their pro-democracy demonstrations.

Witnesses say the security forces showed up after tens of thousands of orange-robed monks and their supporters peacefully marched through downtown Rangoon chanting pro-democracy slogans Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, military officials used loudspeakers to warn people to stay away from the demonstrations.

The international community has appealed to Burma's military government not to crack down on the monks. The European Union expressed its solidarity with the Burmese people, and urged the government to not use violence against people who are committed to non-violence.

On Monday, the government warned the monks to stay out of politics. Burma's religious affairs minister (Brigadier General Thura Myint Maung) threatened on state television to take action against the protesting monks.

Opposition activists began the non-violent protests last month over a steep increase in gas prices. After the monks joined last week, the demonstrations have spread across the country, becoming the largest pro-democracy movement the country has seen since 1988.

Burma has been ruled by a military government since 1962. The current military leaders have been widely criticized for human rights violations and the detention of more than 1,000 political activists, including pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Information for this story is provided by AP, AFP, and Reuters.

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