Crowds taunt soldiers in Myanmar's main city
Yangon, September 28, 2007
Crowds of people taunted soldiers in the centre of Yangon on Friday, swearing at them and then running into side alleys of Myanmar's biggest city when the troops feigned a charge, a witness said.
Men were shouting at the soldiers in English: "We only want democracy."
The soldiers responded by mounting small charges and telling them through loudspeakers to disperse.
On Thursday, they used a similar tactic to clear the streets, telling a crowd of more than 1,000 chanting demonstrators they had 10 minutes to clear the area or risk being shot.
As the cat-and-mouse game continued, trucks of soldiers and riot police were sealing off the centre of the city, near the Sule Pagoda area, moving wooden and barbed-wire barricades block by block.
The mighty Shwedagon Pagoda, the former Burma's holiest shrine and starting point for a week of mass monk-led protest marches, had already been sealed off completely, witnesses said.
People are fearful of a repeat of Thursday's clashes in which at least nine people were killed when soldiers fired on crowds they chased through the streets. -Reuters