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MYANMAR
Fuel Price Hike
August 24, 2007
Protest spreads as junta strong-arm demonstrators


Anti-government demonstrators marched through an oil-producing town in Myanmar to protest fuel price hikes as the military junta clamped down on peaceful protesters elsewhere in the impoverished country, residents said Friday.

The demonstration Thursday in the northwestern town of Yaynang Chaung was the first known outside Myanmar's main city of Yangon. The protest, which included followers of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ended peacefully and another was planned for Friday, said residents contacted by telephone who declined to be identified for fear of government reprisals.

People have protested for days against the junta's doubling of fuel prices, and international condemnation has mounted against the junta's suppression of the peaceful dissent.

On Thursday, plainclothes security personnel and tough-looking civilians stopped about 40 people, mostly from Suu Kyi's party, as they walked quietly for 3 kilometers (2 miles) toward their party headquarters in eastern Yangon.

Authorities ordered bystanders, especially reporters, out of the area as the protesters — outnumbered by about three-to-one — were overwhelmed after a 30-minute standoff. Associated Press reports

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