Witnesses in Burma say security forces have fired warning shots to disperse large crowds of pro-democracy protesters who regrouped in Rangoon a day after a violent military crackdown. They say government soldiers took action today (Thursday) after at least 10-thousand people gathered near the Sule Pagoda to call for peace and freedom. Japan's Kyodo news agency says the Burmese military government has acknowledged that one Japanese national was killed in the violence today. On Wednesday, the government said one person was killed when troops opened fire on protesters in Rangoon. Witnesses say at least five people were killed.
BURMA SDBR: REACT:
China is urging all parties in Burma to exercise restraint after Burma's military rulers used violence to try to suppress pro-democracy protests. China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman (Jiang Yu) told a news conference today (Thursday) China is very concerned about the situation in neighboring Burma. She said China hopes all parties in Burma properly handle the situation. China has close economic relations with mineral-rich Burma and has provided its military with weapons. Earlier today (Thursday), the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs called on China to use its influence with Burma's military rulers to stop the violence.
U.S.-IRAQ-IRAN: The U.S. Senate has approved a resolution urging the creation of a loose, centralized system of government for Iraq. The resolution, which passed Wednesday by a vote of 75 to 23, calls for a political settlement that would essentially divide Iraq into three ethnic, semi-autonomous regions controlled by Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds. The central government in Baghdad would protect Iraq's borders and distribute oil revenues among the regions.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf filed election papers today (Thursday) cementing his controversial re-election bid for president, as security forces sealed off the capital Islamabad to prevent planned protests. His nomination papers for the country's upcoming October sixth elections were delivered to the Election Commission Office by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. Hundreds of riot police and commandos were deployed around the election office and nearby Supreme Court, which is expected to rule soon on legal challenges to General Musharraf's eligibility to run for office and his dual role as government leader and army chief.
UN GENERAL ASSEMBL: Leaders from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Japan and Vietnam will address the United Nations General Assembly today (Thursday) at the world body's New York headquarters. On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the assembly his country is committed to stamping out terrorism so that it does not spread to other nations. Mr. Maliki warned that the continued flow of weapons, money, suicide bombers and the spreading of fatwas (religious edicts) that incite hatred and murder will only result in disastrous consequences for the region and the world.
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