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Burma security forces continue protest intimidation, US embassy authorizes voluntary evacuation

Security forces in Burma continued their campaign of coercion as they cracked down on protestors demanding the return of their elected government . Thousands of protesters gathered in Naypyitaw, the nation’s capital, and Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city. Police and soldiers appeared on both places and began to attack the protestors with sticks and slingshots , the local media also reported that the police had used rubber bullets which resulted in quite a few people being severely injured .

The police arrested 20-40 students , believed to be between the ages of 13-16 , thousands of engineers marched on the streets of Mandalay chanting and holding signs that read: "Free our leader," "Who stands with justice?" and "Stop arresting people illegally at midnight."

Ambassadors from the United Nations and Canada and 12 other European nations called on Burma to refrain from resorting to violent methods against those that are protesting the overthrow of a legitimate government . Demonstrators in the capital also demanded the release of their students from custody who were being detained for peacefully protesting .

On Sunday, the U.S. State Department authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency American government employees and their families. The authorization was based on "heightened potential for violence, continued telecommunications restrictions, and limited flights out of Burma," according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Burma.

The embassy remains open and continues to provide services to Americans in Burma.

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