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Myanmar begins mourning for victims

Myanmar launches three days of official mourning for more than 133,000 people left dead or missing by Cyclone Nargis, lowering national flags to half mast.

world Updated: May 20, 2008 16:14 IST

Myanmar launched three days of official mourning Tuesday for more than 133,000 people left dead or missing by Cyclone Nargis, lowering national flags to half mast at 9:00am (0230 GMT).

The mourning period is one of the first demonstrations of public grief since the tropical storm ravaged swathes of this impoverished nation 18 days ago, leaving about 2.4 million survivors desperately in need of aid.

The reclusive junta leader Than Shwe spent a second consecutive day on Monday touring the disaster zone, venturing into the hardest-hit regions of the Irrawaddy Delta for the first time.

Until Sunday, the senior general had not made a public appearance or remark about the disaster.