Burma protest arrests

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The Independent Online
Rangoon, Burma (AP) - The military government blamed "political elements" yesterday for inciting one of Burma's largest protests in years. An unknown number of protesters are thought to be in detention.

Police, meanwhile, erected roadblocks on streets leading to pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's home, stopping journalists in the Burmese capital from meeting her. It was unknown how long the barriers would remain in place.

There appeared to be no clear link between the demonstration by about 1,000 students on Monday and Ms Suu Kyi's movement, though the Nobel Peace Prize winner was quoted by the BBC as saying they had a shared opposition to injustice.

The protesters, mostly from the Rangoon Institute of Technology, had staged a sit-in at Rangoon University and had marched around the capital all night, at one point stopping outside the US Embassy.

They seemed divided between those stressing calls for freedom and human rights and the majority stressing non-political demands, such as urging the government to grant students more independence and investigate police brutality.

Ms Suu Kyi said yesterday: "I would like the world to know that the repression in Burma is getting worse.