Eyewitnesses say the security forces in Myanmar have launched raids on monasteries and arrested scores of monks, to combat a rising tide of pro-democracy demonstrations. About 200 Buddhist monks were reported to have been held when two monasteries in Yangon were stormed overnight. There have been conflicting reports of several deaths after police moved in to break up protests by monks and civilians yesterday. The UN Security Council has called for restraint. There are also reports of raids in the north-east of the country.
Yesterday, thousands of Buddhist monks defied tear-gas and baton charges to take to the streets on the ninth day of demonstrations against Myanmar’s military regime. In Yangon, thousands of civilian marchers formed a human chain around the monks while the security forces fired tear-gas and bullets over their heads.
Gun shots rang out as riot police moved in to quell the biggest protests for 20 years. Hospital sources have confirmed that at least two monks and one civilian have been killed.