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Burmese Military Leaders Release More Than Eight Thousand Prisoners


Burma's state-controlled media reports the country's military government has granted amnesty to more than eight thousand prisoners as a gesture to the United Nations and to celebrate progress on its long-awaited constitution.

The "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper reported on Tuesday the eight-thousand-585 prisoners were released between mid November and December to mark the drafting of a new constitution, which was completed in September.

The newspaper said , which is being celebrated later this week.

It was unclear whether the prisoners were among those detained in September during the government's bloody crackdown of protests led by Buddhist monks. The crackdown sparked global outrage and a series of visits by U.N. officials.

Burmese officials say 15 people were killed and nearly three-thousand detained in the September crackdown. Diplomats and human rights groups say the figures are much higher.

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