Buddhist monks spearheading Myanmar's biggest anti-government marches in nearly two decades defied orders Tuesday from the military junta to stay out of politics, relaunching their protests in the country's two biggest cities.
About 4,000 monks, cheered on by several thousand supporters, gathered for the eighth day of peaceful protest at Yangon's soaring Shwedagon Pagoda, while some 700 marched in the country's second largest city of Mandalay.
The demonstrations came despite orders to the Buddhist clergy to halt all political activity and return to their monasteries, and as pro-junta supporters in pickup trucks cruised Yangon warning that large crowds were illegal.
The protests in Yangon reached 100,000 on Monday, becoming the biggest demonstrations since a pro-democracy uprising in 1988 that was violently suppressed by the country's military leaders.
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