Arrests as Yangon authorities tear down shantytown

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YANGON: At least six people were arrested on Monday as Yangon authorities started to clear a huge slum on the city’s northern fringes, as bitter competition for land in Myanmar’s commercial capital intensifies. Armed police escorted hundreds of local authority workers wielding bamboo sticks, rakes and saws as they descended on the shantytown in Hlegu township—the first major forced eviction under the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Furious occupants screamed at the workers as they started pulling down bamboo houses early in the morning. Many directed their anger at Suu Kyi’s administration, accusing it of continuing the kind of land evictions that were common under military rule.Local reports said the slum, around 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Yangon near the highway to Mandalay, was home to 4,000 houses.

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AFP

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