Residents surround security forces at raided monastery

Sep 27, 2007 (DVB), Local residents in South Okkalapa township have surrounded security forces who returned to Ngway Kyar Yan monastery to arrest the abbot following last night's raids.

At least 130 monks were detained in the raid on the monastery, and personal belongings including robes, rice and 2,000,000 Kyat in cash were seized.

Security forces returned at around noon today to arrest the abbot and took up positions surrounding the monastery.

But hundreds of thousands of local residents, outraged by the raids, surrounded the troops, shouting anti-government slogans and demanding the immediate release of the detained monks.

A large group of people also assembled at the junction of Weizayanar and Dhittsar roads.

"The military is surrounding the monastery and firing warning shots to disperse the crowds, but people are standing firm," said a bystander.

The latest reports from the scene say that more people are joining the crowds.

Reporting by Than Win Htut

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