Security presence stepped up in Rangoon

Mar 6, 2008 (DVB), Rangoon residents said that government security forces have been seen at busy junctions in the city, having been out of public view since the crackdown on last year's September protests.

Residents have seen fully-equipped soldiers deployed in the Sule Pagoda area and near the busy Shwegondine intersection.

The reason for the security increase is not clear, but locals have speculated it may be intended to maintain stability during the visit of United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who arrived in Burma today.

Other residents have suggested the presence of security forces could be linked to the recent shooting of a family of four and their housemaid near detained National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's house.

The five were shot dead in their home on Monday by an unknown person or persons who remain at large.

NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win said the party had been worried for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s safety since they found out about the crime.

"We don’t know why there is heavy security in Rangoon now," said Nyan Win.

"The area around Daw Suu’s house in particular has always been under heavy security and yet a serious crime was committed there recently. We are worried for our leader."

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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