Myanmar junta eases Yangon curfew | world | Hindustan Times
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Myanmar junta eases Yangon curfew

Myanmar's military rulers have relaxed a curfew in Yangon, reducing it to four hours a night as security remained light on the streets.

world Updated: Oct 14, 2007 11:32 IST

Myanmar's military rulers have relaxed a curfew in the main city Yangon, reducing it to four hours a night as security remained light on the streets of the commercial hub, residents said on Sunday.

Loudspeakers mounted on trucks drove through the city late on Saturday, telling people that the curfew would now run from 11 pm to 3 am, down from the 10 pm till 4 am restrictions in place up until now.

The easing of the curfew, coupled with a lower security presence on the streets of Yangon, could imply that the junta feels it has finally quashed the largest protests against its rule in nearly 20 years.

In September, Buddhist monks led up to 100,000 people onto the streets of Yangon, but the subsequent government crackdown left at least 13 people dead and saw more than 2,000 arrested.

Although there is little visible army presence in Yangon, security forces continue to comb through neighbourhood in search of people linked to the pro-democracy protests last month.

Amnesty International on Saturday reported that Myanmar authorities had arrested four more pro-democracy activists in Yangon, while concern is growing over the fate of at least 1,000 people still in custody after the rallies.

The curfew was announced on September 25, just before the government launched its bloody crackdown on the protests.

Restrictions are also in place in Myanmar's second city Mandalay, where there were similar demonstrations.

The protests began in reaction to a surprise mid-August rise in fuel prices but ballooned into more general anti-junta rallies.