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UN Envoy: 14 Killed in Crackdown on Demonstrations in Burma


A U.N. human rights envoy says Burma's military government has told him 14 people were killed during a crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in September -- up from the previous official figure of 10.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said today (Friday) the 14 were cremated in Rangoon, the main Burmese city where the protests took place. He said he could not say whether the updated figure is accurate.

He also said the international community owes it to the Burmese people to come up with a coordinated response to the government crackdown.

Pinheiro spoke after a five-day trip to Burma in which he aimed to learn about human rights violations committed during and after the crackdown.

He is expected to present a report on his findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council on December 11th.

A lawyer for Burma's main opposition party says the Burmese government freed six political prisoners from the notorious Insein Prison, shortly after Pinheiro met with detainees at the prison Thursday.

The lawyer. Aung Thein says five of the prisoners freed were members of the opposition National League for Democracy, and the sixth was a student activist named Thet Naung Soe.

Pinheiro's visit to the Insein Prison marked the end of his first trip to Burma in four years.

Burmese officials say in addition to those killed nearly three-thousand people were detained in the September crackdown. Diplomats and human rights groups say the true figures are much higher.

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