A bloody crack down by military regime on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Burma has started.

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Near Shwedagon Pagoda: Soldiers are blocking entrances to Burma’s most revered Buddhist Shrine, Shwedagon Pagoda. They use tear gas to disperse a crowd led by Monks. Then they beat up the monks, leading to many Monks injured (one a very much revered monk), and at least one monk dead. And then more than 200 monks were arrested.

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Near Sule Pagoda: Soldiers fired shots over the heads of a crowd who were waiting for the arrival of the column of about 10,000 protestors marching towards Sule Pagoda in central Rangoon. When the column of protestors arrived, more troops came and blocked the road behind the protestors; protestors surrounded by troops. Witnesses said there were more shots being fired from troopers. And one woman was shot dead when soldiers sprayed crowds with bullets. The soldiers are chasing after the receding crowd and making arrests.

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In Mandalay: There are also news coming from Mandalay that the crack down has also started there. Soldiers use tear gas, and also shoot above the heads of demonstrators. Many demonstrators were injured.

In Sittwe: Clashes between protestors and soldiers have been reported to be going on in Sittwe, largest city in western Burma, since yesterday.

Mid Night Arrests: Well known activists, including comedian Zarganar, were arrested last night at their homes; their houses searched, documents and phones confiscated, and their families harrassed.

(photos courtesy of Ko Htike & civilian journalists from Burma; soldiers photos, reuters)

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