Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Myanmar Police Use Batons on Monks

Police beat Myanmar protesters with batons

Police baton-charged a crowd of around 700 anti-junta protesters including students and Buddhist monks who gathered in Myanmar's main city Yangon in defiance of a ban, witnesses said Wednesday.

The police charged the crowd that had congregated for a ninth straight day of protests, beating students and monks alike with batons outside the Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's holiest shrine, witnesses said.

After the crowd ran away, armed soldiers used barbed wire to cordon off the area around the pagoda. About 500 monks were believed to be inside the pagoda, while others tried to get inside.

Police were not seen arresting any of the protesters.

The baton-charge marked the first time that security forces have used violence to break up the protesters, who have taken to the streets in growing numbers over the last week.