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Military present at Mandalay protests

Sep 26, 2007 (DVB), About 30,000 people have been protesting today in Mandalay, despite the visible military presence in the city.

The Mandalay protest was started by about 10,000 monks from Dhammikarama, Taing Hteelin, who were later joined by nuns and civilians. The protestors faced roadblocks, but were able to bypass them to continue on their march.

A local bystander said that the monks were stopped by soldiers while marching from the eastern gate of the historic Phayagyi pagoda.

"The soldiers were fully armed and stood blocking the road, but the monks went a different way to avoid direct confrontation," said the bystander.

Soldiers were also deployed in front of several monasteries to prevent monks from joining the protests.

Reporting by Maung Too

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