Monks Hold Burmese Officials Hostage

Incident ends in release as protests of fuel price hikes rage
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2007 2:18 PM CDT
Supporters of Myanmar's political dissident Aung San Suu Kyi march to a rally at a Sydney park Friday, Sept. 7, 2007. Demonstrations targeting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit of 21 leaders...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of angry monks have released Burmese government officials they held hostage for over 5 hours yesterday, the Guardian reports, in protest of the military regime’s fuel price hikes. Reading Buddhist scriptures, nearly 500 monks burned the officials’ cars, locked them inside a monastery, and surrendered the prisoners only when a senior abbot intervened.

Cheering anti-government protesters swarmed around the monks, who are esteemed in the overwhelmibgly Buddhist society. The 20 government officials initially visited the monastery to apologize for the shots soldiers had fired to break up a demonstration. Protests have raged almost daily since the government doubled the price of gas and diesel last month.