Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Police patrol Rangoon, security tightened near Insein prison

by Myint Maung

New Delhi (Mizzima) – There is heightened security in Rangoon with at least 30 army trucks with uniformed riot police personnel, patrolling the city on Wednesday.

The army trucks are each carrying at least 20 policemen and are patrolling various townships of Rangoon, eyewitnesses said.

“We can see about 30 to 40 army trucks carrying uniformed policemen patrolling the city. It looks like they are on high alert. They also have machine guns mounted on the trucks. They came to our township at about 3 p.m. (local time),” an eyewitness from Insein Township told Mizzima.

“Earlier, when they patrolled like they are doing now, the police would carry shields but today they had a policeman standing on the truck with a machine gun mounted on the hood,” he added.

Another local resident said he had seen about three army trucks, full of riot police, patrolling downtown Rangoon near the City Hall, which is one of the busiest places in town.

“They had the trucks covered with shields and had batons and guns in their hands,” he said.

A source near the Insein prison told Mizzima that the riot police No. (8) have been relocated and repositioned near the Insein prison.

Some of the townships, where eyewitnesses saw army trucks patrolling include San Chuang and Dagon South.

The reason for the sudden tightening of security, however, remains unknown but some believe it could be because of the United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who reportedly is planning to visit the country later this week.

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