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Last Updated: Friday, 28 September 2007, 04:52 GMT 05:52 UK
Bush hits out at 'brutal' Burma
Protesters face security forces in Rangoon on Thursday 27 September 2007

US President George W Bush has led international condemnation of Burma after more people were killed in its crackdown on popular protests.

The US imposed sanctions targeting Burma's military leaders and called on China, one of Burma's closest partners, to put more pressure on the country.

Beijing appealed for calm, and Burma's neighbours, in unusually harsh criticism, expressed "revulsion".

Nine people were killed on Thursday, official media reported.

They included eight protesters and a Japanese video journalist.

However, diplomatic sources in Rangoon said they feared the real number might be much higher.

Australian Ambassador Bob Davis said it might be "several multiples of the 10 acknowledged by the authorities".

Monks seized

Soldiers and police fired into crowds of demonstrators in Rangoon and gave them 10 minutes to clear the streets or face the consequences, the Reuters news agency reported.

Eleven demonstrators and 31 soldiers were hurt, according to the official account.

Authorities were trying to stamp out the largest uprising in two decades, as it continued for its 10th day.

The popular defiance has been led by Buddhist monks but there were fewer on the streets on Thursday following overnight raids on monasteries.
Every civilised nation has a responsibility to stand up for people suffering under a brutal military regime like the one that has ruled Burma for too long
US President George W Bush

After an overnight curfew, the streets were reported to be quiet on Friday morning, amid reports of no-go areas being enforced around the main monasteries in Rangoon.

During talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the White House, Mr Bush said: "[The American people] feel admiration and compassion for the monks and peaceful protesters calling for democracy.

"Every civilised nation has a responsibility to stand up for people suffering under a brutal military regime like the one that has ruled Burma for too long."

A high school student allegedly beaten by the security forces in Rangoon on Thursday 27 September 2007 (picture supplied by MoeMaka Media internet blog)

China, one of Burma's main allies, has urged all parties to "maintain restraint", but has refused to condemn the junta.

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband sent a message of support to Burma's monks, and urged the government to promote "genuine reconciliation".

The Burmese authorities have bowed to international pressure and agreed to let UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari visit the country.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has warned Burma's leaders they could face prosecution for the violence.

Meanwhile, Japan said it would make an official protest over the death in Rangoon of Kenji Nagai, a video journalist for Tokyo-based news agency APF News.

Key flashpoints in Rangoon

Meeting in New York, foreign ministers from Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations) took the Burmese representative to task over the violence.

Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo said Asean politicians had met and "expressed their revulsion to (Burmese) Foreign Minister Nyan Win over reports that the demonstrations in (Burma) are being suppressed by violent force and that there's been a number of fatalities".

BBC United Nations correspondent Laura Trevelyan says Asean members do not usually interfere in each other's internal affairs but the group is too embarrassed to ignore the world focus on what is happening on its doorstep.

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