Two hours ago the Washinton Post had this to say about the death toll in yesterday's protests:
Soldiers opened fire at several places around the city Thursday, killing nine people and injuring 31 according to an account read on official Burmese television. But exile groups said they had received information overnight that the toll was considerably higher, perhaps in the dozens. Bob Davis, the Australian ambassador, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio that he believed the number dead was several times the official count.In the story it was also reported:
The monastery raids, in which a number of monks were beaten and hauled away in trucks, resulted in a sharp reduction in the number of monks seen in the streets. Most of those seen protesting Thursday -- in video footage shipped out electronically -- were lay activists of student age.**** Update ends here
It seems, yesterday, September 27, 2007 was an auspicious date. "Suspicious Burmese had predicted violence on this date, whose digits in the Gregorian calendar add up repeatedly to the astrologically powerful number 9: the 27th day of the 9th month in 2007." (NYT)
This is how the day ended: "Yesterday evening, Crowds defied the curfew in several parts of Rangoon. A 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was clamped on the city on Wednesday, but as darkness fell on Thursday crowds of protesters still roamed the streets," The Irrawaddy reported.
According to The Bangkok Post nine protestors were killed by troops, including one Japanese national, 50 year-old Kenji Nagai, a reporter for Tokyo-based video and photo agency APF News. Also, witnesses report that automatic weapons were fired at protestors yesterday.
Also, "one western diplomat in Rangoon has speculated that army chief vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye may meet the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi soon in an attempt to ease increasing tension in Burma" according to the The Irrawaddy.
Check out the photos depicting events in Burma yesterday on Ko-htike's blog (Via Sullivan).