Eight killed in one Yangon incident--rights group

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BANGKOK, Sep 28 (Reuters) Eight people were shot dead in a northeastern district of Yangon yesterday as Myanmar's military junta cracked down on the largest uprising in almost 20 years, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said today.

Citing a source in the city, the Hong Kong-based group said bodies of the victims had been taken to houses in the South Okkalapa neighbourhood but security forces searched the area and took them away.

State media said nine people had been killed when soldiers and riot police tried to clear the streets of protesters, including a Japanese photographer shot dead on a road leading to the Sule Pagoda, end-point of more than a week of marches.

It was not clear if the junta's official death toll included the eight reported dead at Okkalapa.

Australian ambassador Bob Davis said the real death toll was likely to be much higher after soldiers in the country's main city used live ammunition against protesters for the first time.

Asked for an unofficial estimate of the number of those killed, Davis told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio: ''Several multiples of the 10 acknowledged by the authorities''.

The AHRC said it had also confirmed reports from several sources that a student was killed outside a school in Tamwe, northeast of the city centre.

Although details were still sketchy, the AHRC said a crowd of 300 students and parents outside the high school had been involved in an incident in which there had been shooting and a vehicle driven into a crowd.

REUTERS SG PM1325

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