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Authorities Free 390 People Arrested In Riots

July 7, 1988

RANGOON, Burma (AP) _ Authorities Thursday freed 390 people who were arrested in student riots in March and June, the state radio said.

The broadcast said 229 students, 14 government employees and 147 others were released.

The broadcast said some people were freed unconditionally and others on bail. It didn’t say how many people were arrested in all.

There will be more releases of those jailed for rioting, it said.

The most recent riots, in Rangoon on June 21, were fueled by university students demanding that the government legalize student unions and free students detained in earlier protests.

Authorities said nine people were killed as thousands of demonstrators clashed with riot police. It said 77 people were arrested in connection with that rioting.

Authorities closed most educational institutions and imposed a curfew until Aug. 17.

University students have led three major rounds of protest since October, the first since 1974 against the 26-year rule of Gen. Ne Win, whose economic policies and wars on ethnic minorities have impoverished this Southeast Asian country.

Hundreds of people were arrested, and Western diplomats say 100 may have died in street violence, most in rioting March 18 and since.

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