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Myanmar government orders protesters to end occupation of copper mine

Myanmar's government has threatened protesters occupying parts of a copper mine with legal action if they do not leave the area within hours.

The protesters say the Letpadaung mine in northwestern Myanmar is causing environmental, social and health problems. The mine is a joint venture between a Chinese firm and a company controlled by Myanmar's military.

State television on Tuesday said the government has ordered the protesters to leave six camps at the mine by midnight so it can resume operations and a parliamentary committee can investigate their complaints.

Protesters contacted by phone said some villagers had left ahead of the deadline but others remained, along with several hundred Buddhist monks.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is to visit the area on Thursday to hear the protesters' grievances.