Myanmar junta holds "War Office" meeting-diplomat

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BANGKOK, Sep 25 (Reuters) Myanmar's military junta held an emergency meeting in the ''War Office'' of its new capital today to work out how to respond to the biggest anti-government protests in nearly 20 years, a diplomat said.

No further details of the meeting in Naypyidaw, 450 km (280 miles) north of Yangon were immediately available, the Yangon-based diplomat said.

Separately, the Karen National Union (KNU), an ethnic militia which has been waging a guerrilla war since 1949, said troops from the 22nd Division -- used during a ruthless military crackdown in 1988 -- had been withdrawn from Karen state.

''The government has ordered the 22nd Division troops to pull out of Karen state and return to Yangon,'' KNU Colonel Nerda Mya told Reuters from his base along the Thai border.''We believe the troops will be used as in 1988.'' As many as 3,000 people are thought to have died when the generals sent in the army in 1988 to crush a nationwide uprising against military rule in the former Burma.

REUTERS JK VC1520

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