Suu Kyi decries Myanmar's crackdown on mine protesters, seeks explanation for use of force

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has publicly criticized the forcible crackdown on protesters at a mine in northwestern Myanmar, saying the public needs an explanation of the violence that injured dozens, including Buddhist monks.

More than 10,000 people heard Suu Kyi speak Friday morning in a nearby village about the Letpadaung copper mine.

Protesters say it is causing environmental and social problems and occupied the project for 11 days before the crackdown.

Police used water cannons, tear gas and smoke bombs early Thursday to disperse the protest. Their weapons caused severe burns to protesters and set their makeshift shelters ablaze.

A nurse at a Monywa hospital said 27 monks and one other person were admitted there to be treated for burns.