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Junta uses scare tactics to cow residents
Soldiers announced they were hunting pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar's largest city Wednesday and the top U.S. diplomat in the country said that military police were pulling people out of their homes during the night.
Military vehicles patrolled the streets before dawn with loudspeakers blaring, "We have photographs. We are going to make arrests!"
Shari Villarosa, the acting U.S. ambassador in Myanmar, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press in Bangkok that people in Yangon were terrified.
"From what we understand, military police ... are traveling around the city in the middle of the night, going into homes and picking up people," she said.
Residents living near the Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's most revered shrine and a flash point of unrest, reported that police swept through several dozen homes in the middle of the night, dragging away several men for questioning.
The homes were located above shops at a marketplace that caters to the nearby pagoda, selling monks robes and begging bowls.
The security forces were looking for people who had participated in demonstrations since mid-August, which troops brutally crushed on Sept. 26 and 27 with live gunfire, tear gas and baton charges.

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