Combat training held in monastery compound

Nov 28, 2007 (DVB), Authorities in San Dway township, Arakan state, have reportedly been conducting combat training inside a monastery compound, according to a San Dway resident, speaking on condition of anonymity.

About 60 people, including government employees, manual labourers and trishaw drivers, took part in the exercise, which began ten days ago and was due to run for 30 days in total.

Police and volunteer firefighters have conducted the training, which has focused on riot control, basic combat skills and use of shields and sticks as weapons.

The training has angered local residents because it is taking place inside a local monastery in Lay Myat Hnar pagoda compound, even though monks are still living at the monastery and the grounds are in public view.

Residents have also complaining that the sessions are unnecessarily loud and are causing a disturbance in the township.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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