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Authorities clash with cyclone victims

May 22, 2008 (DVB), A fight broke out between local government officials and cyclone victims during an aid donation in South Dagon township on Tuesday night, according to a local resident.

A resident of South Dagon's ward 71 said the groups clashed when a donor came to give rice and clothing to the cyclone victims.

"The ward authority clerk and members told them that they would only be given the aid if they showed the right cards," the resident said.

"A child asked for a card, and was pushed away and told it was nothing to do with him, and his hand was broken," he said.

"The people threatened to beat up [the authorities]. Then the Union Solidarity Development Association joined the authorities and beat the people up."

According to residents, three men and a pregnant woman were hospitalised in the fight.

When other refugees and ward residents surrounded the authorities, police and township officials were called to the scene, but the crowd refused to disperse.

The angry people eventually left after military forces were called in and imposed an 11pm curfew, reportedly telling residents that anyone who had not gone home by then would be arrested and shot.

Reporting by Naw Say Paw


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