Friday, September 28, 2007

UK fears Burma toll 'far higher'


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he believes the loss of life in Burma has been "far greater" than that reported by the authorities.

He was speaking after holding talks by phone with US President George W Bush and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

Burmese officials said nine people were killed on Thursday as troops fired tear gas and bullets to disperse crowds of anti-government protesters in Rangoon.

Most internet links have been severed and mobile phone networks disrupted.

''I want to condemn absolutely the appalling level of violence against the people of Burma.

"I am afraid that we believe the loss of life in Burma is far greater than is being reported so far," Mr Brown said.

He said he hoped the combined international pressure from the US, China, the EU and UN would "begin to make the regime see this cannot continue".

Both the British and Australian ambassadors in Burma said they believed the number of dead "could be many multiples" of the number given by state media.......

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