Independent investigation alleges Myanmar police used white phosphorus against mine protesters

An independent investigation says white phosphorus caused the severe burns monks and other protesters suffered when Myanmar police broke up their protest at a mine in November.

Lawyer Aung Thein said a laboratory found traces of the chemical on canisters left by police and recovered afterward.

He was not directly involved in the investigation but signed the report on the findings. The report has been forwarded to the government-appointed panel headed by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi that is investigating the matter.

White phosphorus is an incendiary agent generally used in war to create smoke screens. Guidance on its use against people directly is conflicting.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut declined to comment on the findings Friday.

Protesters occupied the Letpadaung mine project in northwestern Myanmar for 11 days.