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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Heavy army presence in Burma city
Soldiers in Rangoon (30 September 2007)
People on the street are said to be outnumbered by the security forces
Thousands of heavily armed soldiers are patrolling the streets of Burma's main city, Rangoon, with no sign of further protests against the military junta.

Troops are stopping young men on the streets and in cars, searching for cameras that may be used to smuggle out images, correspondents in Burma say.

Most internet links are still down and mobile phone networks disrupted.

Officials said Burma's military leader General Than Shwe would meet UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari on Tuesday.

They've obviously for the moment squeezed things off the streets
UK Ambassador Mark Canning on the crackdown in Rangoon

On Saturday, when Mr Gambari travelled to the new capital Naypidaw, he was allowed to meet only more junior members of the government.

The UN envoy is hoping to end a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters, during which the authorities said 10 people were killed.

Diplomats and activists say the number of dead was many times higher.

Monks detained

Burma has seen almost two weeks of sustained popular unrest, in the most serious challenge to the military leadership for more than two decades.

But the number of protesters on the streets is much smaller since the clampdown, and the Buddhist monks who spearheaded the rallies are being prevented from leaving their monasteries.

Religious sites sealed off by troops in Rangoon

Disrupted communications have made information coming out of Burma very patchy.

However, a reporter in Rangoon - who must remain anonymous for safety reasons - said people were too scared to do anything with so many soldiers around.

The area around the Sule Pagoda - a focal point for earlier protests - has been sealed off and there are many hundreds of fully armed military and riot police in the area.

Half of the shops were open on Monday but the shoppers were outnumbered by the security forces and all the internet cafes were closed.

There were few monks visible in Rangoon. After their monasteries were ransacked, some 3,000 were taken away to makeshift prisons on the outskirts of the city.

There are reports that the monks are refusing to take food from their military guards.

People told the reporter they felt afraid and helpless, having seen that the military is prepared to shoot monks, women and children. But they said the demonstrations would continue.

UK ambassador Mark Canning told the BBC: "It's outwardly quite normal at the moment. The traffic seems to be flowing, there's a lot of military tucked away in less visible locations.

"They've obviously for the moment squeezed things off the streets."

Rare criticism

On Sunday, Mr Gambari held talks with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon - the first foreigner to be permitted to do so for 10 months.

Ibrahim Gambari - file picture
Mr Gambari is looking for a political solution to the crisis
Diplomatic sources in Rangoon say China, the country with greatest influence over the generals, is pushing hard for Mr Gambari's mission to be extended.

In a letter released on Monday, the Association of South East Asian Nations - of which Burma is a member - said pictures of what was happening in the country had caused revulsion around the world.

A Japanese envoy has also arrived in Burma to ensure a full investigation into the death of Japanese video journalist Kenji Nagai.

Footage of his death last Wednesday appears to show a soldier shooting him at close range as security forces cleared central Rangoon of protesters.

The movements of the UN envoy in Burma


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