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Burma police officer who refused to fire on protesters flees to India: report

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A 27-year old who identified himself as a Burmese police officer said in an interview that he traveled for days to gain entry into India after refusing to open fire on peaceful protesters in the country.

Reuters reported that Tha Peng was assigned to a protest in the town of Khampat late last month and was instructed to use his submachine gun on protesters. He told the wire service exclusively that he refused, and was contacted the next day by a superior inquiring about his refusal. He said he decided to resign.

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He told Reuters that he was not the only police officer who refused the orders, and said at least six others refused to open fire. The report said that the officer presented identification and the report only used his first name to protect his identity, but his story underscores the deteriorating situation in the country of 54 million since the military coup last month.

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Protests have been breaking out in various cities across the country to oppose the coup that deposed Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of the National League for Democracy party. The military junta claims the November election was illegitimate and will rule for the next year.

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To date, the government’s violent crackdown has left more than 50 protesters dead. At least 18 people were fatally shot on Sunday last week and 38 on Wednesday, according to the U.N. Human Rights Office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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