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Situation in Burma on Thursday, September 27, 2007 (hour by hour account from 10.30 am to 6.05 pm)

Source: Mizzima news (www.mizzima.com), September 27, 2007

Latest reports indicate that the military junta have stepped up the crackdown. Hundreds of monks have been arrested, many forcibly taken from their monasteries. Sounds of beating and cries of pain are heard from within the walls of the monasteries. Near the Sule Pagoda, Rangoon tear gas were fired to disperse protestors gathered around that place.

Thousands of protestors have emptied the streets of Yangon after 200 soldiers and police ordered them to go home or risk being shot.  Pockets of people remained on balconies and bridges, as soldiers and police worked systematically through the city centre to ensure that no protesters remained.

At least 100 people were arrested and thrown into military trucks after the ultimatum. Security forces had earlier fired warning shots, but the crowd only broke up after soldiers issued their warning.

All time indicated are Burmese Standard time, (GMT +6:30 hours), September 27, 2007

6:05 p.m
Two more shot dead. Two more people were shot dead when soldiers opened fire on protesting crowds, who are surrounding the Ngwekyaryan monastery in South Okklapa Township.

Protesters then went to the Moe Kaung Kin Monastery and got tins of petrol to strike back at the soldiers. Soldiers caught four monks, who were released this morning, and dragged them to a military truck even as they beat them up severely.

6:00 p.m
A Japanese journalist was shot dead today by soldiers while opening fire on protestors, according to an AP report.

5:40 p.m
A vehicle was torched on the intersection of Anawrattha and Strand Road. But so far it is still unclear who set it on fire.

5:30 p.m
Soldiers continue to fire on protestors at Pansodan Street. However, the number of casualties still remains unconfirmed.

5:15 p.m
More people joining in Sule. "Now there are about 30,000 to 40,000 have gathered in Sule. We don't know what will happen. At the moment, soldiers are shooting from above. The people are unhappy and are now gathering on the road. There are a lot of shootings, but we don't know how many died. Members of NLD arrested across the country. It is really bad. And more people are joining the protest," an eyewitness told Mizzima.

5:00 p.m
Crowd Monks do not arrest military officers, but blockaded by crowd. Security forces fired teargas and beat the crowd surrounding the Ngwekyaryan monastery.

Communication has been cut-off between the monastery and outside and other reports suggests that the crowd have surrounded the monastery and lock the military junta officials inside.

Gun shots could be vividly heard while reporting this information.

4:00 p.m
Student badly wounded. A student, who was under the Pansodan flyover, was hit by a bullet in his stomach when soldiers opened fire on protesters . He was seriously injured.

3:55 p.m.
Foreigner wounded in Sule

A 30-year old foreigner was injured in the gunfire in Sule. A batch with an American flag was found in his purse. Security men seized his video camera.

3: 50 p.m
Demonstrator shot dead near Pansoden Bridge.

Students from Dagon (1) and Latha Basic Education High Schools sent home early. Burmese Army attacks monks marching along Thar Mwe Kyaitkasan Road. Troops fire six times.

3:45 p.m
Demonstrator killed near Sule Pagoda. "Around 2:00 p.m. civilians and monks offered prayers in Sule Pagoda. While we were praying, three military trucks carrying soldiers arrived. First they fired in the air and then into the crowd. A bullet hit a man and killed him on the spot" one of the the participants told Mizzima

Two army vehicles coming from the direction of 'Super One' mall opened fire on onlookers and bystanders near the National Library in front of the Kyaikkasan field.

3:35 p.m
An International aid agency worker said, the army gave only two minutes to disperse before they open fire on protestors at Sule.

3:28 p.m
Security forces (Lone Htein), with soldiers and prison vehicles, are marching towards the protestors near the Trader Hotel. Soldiers continue to warn the people to disperse.

3:10 p.m
Another violent confrontation in downtown Rangoon. A group of protestors marching towards downtown Rangoon are again confronted by security forces near the Trader Hotel in Rangoon.

"From all the four sides, forming four lines of soldiers with shields march in the front and they are followed by riot police (Lone Htein), and another group of soldiers followed in third line. The soldiers come close together and formed a wall with their shields. And they forced the protestors to disperse. People are watching the situation from the Pansodan flyover. Here the protestors are quite less in number. There are only about 10,000 people. They are now confronting with the army on the streets," an eyewitness told Mizzima.

"Now the soldiers are shouting and telling the people to disperse," added the eyewitness.

2:37 p.m
Soldiers are reportedly opening fire on protestors at Magah road near the Kyaikkasan pagoda in Thingankyun Township.

2:30 p.m
Security forces fired about twenty gunshots in Sule, in downtown Rangoon. Five army trucks carrying about 30 soldiers in each truck blocked the road at the junction of Sule and Anawrattha Street. The soldiers shouted and ordered the residents not to come out of their houses.

2:20 p.m
Protestors fleeing from Sule have reached to Yekyaw area in Pazuntaung Township. At least 10 protestors have been injured.

2:05 p.m
Protesters bleeding from beatings by security forces are seen scattering and fleeing in Sule.



Myanmar in Turmoil - A photoblog

Pictures courtesy of www.Irrawaddy.com




2:00 p.m
Protesters in Rangoon have swelled to at least 50,000 and their shouts of "We will Succeed, We will Succeed," reverberated in downtown Rangoon.

1: 55 p.m
Teargas fired on protesters. Security forces in two trucks, a prison vehicle and a medium vehicle carrying a megaphone were seen speeding on Bogyoke Street. The vehicles seem to be heading towards protesters on the Anawrattha Street, observers said.

1:50 p.m
About 400 students and youths have gathered near Burma's notorious Insein prison, eyewitnesses said.

Reports suggest that detained Burmese pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest at her lakeside villa, was transferred to Insein prison on Sunday.

1:40 p.m
Protesters and soldiers are now face to face at the junction of Thitsar Road and Central Road near the Ngwe Kya Yan monastery in South Okklapah. Members of USDA and Swa Arrshin stood in front of the soldiers and are confronting the protesters. Both sides threw stones at each other.

1:35 p.m
Insect spray used in crackdown on protesters. Since teargas seems to have not much impact on protesting monks and people, the Burmese junta is reported to be preparing to use insect spray to crackdown on protesters.

Eyewitnesses said, fire engines and insect spray carrier trucks were seen near Theingyi market in downtown Rangoon.

1:30 p.m
The situation has become tense in Rangoon's Kanbe Township following the arrest of monks by members of Swan Arrshin and soldiers.

12:55 p.m
All the streets surrounding the Sule Pagoda in the heart of Rangoon have been blocked with barbwire barricades.

12:50 p.m
Security forces are positioned about10 feet inside and the protesters stood at least 10 feet beyond the barbed wires. Burmese business tycoon Tayza-owned 'Myanmar Shopping Mall' near Sule Pagoda remained close. Security forces were seen guarding the mall. Only the AA Pharmacy was open, while the rest of the shops on the street up to the Myanmar Insurance Office remained closed.

12:45 p.m
A group of protesters led by monks are marching on Anawrattha Street. Thousands of people are seen following the monks. Security forces are also closing in and are nearing the demonstrators.

12:34 a.m
Despite government offices remaining open, employees have been restricted from going outside during office hours. However, most private offices, shops and schools are closed. Public buses in Rangoon has noticeably been reduced, residents said,

11:55 a.m
Situation in Sule. Soldiers and security forces came out of the City Hall near Sule pagoda in downtown Rangoon and blocked the road. After ordering civilians near the area to clear off, the soldiers, in straight lines, were seen marching. At least 12 army trucks and 7 fire engines are parked near the Sule park, opposite the City Hall.

11:30 a.m
Burmese junta raids monasteries, arrests over 200 monks.

In a bid to to stem the snowballing protests by monks, authorities early on Thursday morning raided at least five Buddhist monasteries including Ngwe Kya Yan in South Okklapah Township and arrested over 200 monks.

Security forces broke the wall of Ngwe Kya Yan monastery in a raid at about 00:15 hour (local time) Thursday morning. Several monks were injured during a clash between the security forces and the monks.

"Bleeding monks were forced into a vehicle. They couldn't cover themselves," a local resident told Mizzima.

During the two hour raid last night, monks rang the alarm bell and screamed for help. However, as the army has announced it would shoot, civilians did not dareto come to the aid of monks.

"There were sounds of beating and screaming from the monastery," a local, residing beside the monastery, told Mizzima over telephone.

Simultaneously, the army raided four other monasteries in parts of Rangoon and arrested several monks.

Sources confirmed that the army had raided the six storied Religious Science Monastery in Chaukhtatgyi pagoda, Moe Kaung Kin Monastery in Yan Kin township, Mingin in Thingankyun township, and Thein Phyu monastery in Thein Phyu area and arrested several monks.

11:10 a.m
Junta says a man died and three others were injured during a crackdown on protesters yesterday.However, AFP citing an official, said three people died during the brutal crackdown on demonstrators.

11:00 a.m
Junta steps up efforts to divert attention on protest. Rumours have spread that the Burmese military junta is hiring thugs to dress like Buddhist monks with orders to destroy Muslim mosques, in an attempt to foment religious riots between the Muslim and Buddhist communities.

NLD members in Taung Thar arrested. Authorities early on Thursday morning arrested the Chairman and a youth leader of the NLD in Taung Thar, Mandalay division. They were arrested from their residence at about 2 a.m. (local time).

"U Than Myint Oo (Chairman of NLD Taung Thar) was arrested at about 2 a.m (local time). U Soe Paing was also detained. Officials came on four motorcycles and arrested them. So far we have no information of their whereabouts," said a local resident of Taung Thar.

10:50 a.m
Junta accusses monks of being extortionists

Burmese junta's mouthpiece, the New Light of Myanmar said today protesting monks on Tuesday went from house to house in each township in Rangoon and demanded cash "like extortionists".The paper does not name the monks, the place and time of extortion but merely states that the monks demanded cash and alms from families, who cannot join the protest.

10:40 a.m
Burma Army raids Ngwe Kya Yan Monastery, arrest monksSeveral Monks from Ngwe Kya Yan monastery in South Okklapah township of Rangoon were arrested during an overnight raid by the Burma Army troops. The officials, reportedly, cut-off the telephone connection of the monastery.

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