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Myanmar 2ndLd-Writethru 12-07

12. Myanmar

Crackdown killed at least 31

Myanmar’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters killed more than twice as many people as the junta has acknowledged, a U.N. investigator said Friday, citing at least 31 dead.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the U.N. human rights expert assigned to the country, said he documented 16 people killed in the September crackdown along with the 15 dead already reported by the government.

But he said the actual death toll was likely much higher.

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"Several reports of killings indicate that the figure provided by the authorities may greatly underestimate the reality," he said.

"There are a number of incidents where no names were reported but where there were allegations of groups of people reportedly killed, which have also been shared," Pinheiro said in a report released by the U.N. on Friday.

Pinheiro, who visited Myanmar on Nov. 11-15, said "credible sources" reported a large number of bodies wrapped in plastic and rice bags that were burned in the early hours of the final days of September. The burning took place at the Ye Way crematorium in Yangon. Authorities blocked Pinheiro from visiting.

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