Supporters of Myanmar mine protest demand punishment for use of incendiary weapon in crackdown

Activists in Myanmar are demanding punishment for officials who were responsible for the use of an incendiary weapon against peaceful protesters at a copper mine, resulting in serious burns for dozens of people including Buddhist monks.

Lawyers and others who investigated the Nov. 29 crackdown at the Letpadaung copper mine in northwestern Myanmar told reporters Thursday that President Thein Sein must share responsibility and ensure justice is achieved.

They say police used shells containing white phosphorous, an incendiary munition, to disperse the protesters. White phosphorous can be used legally in some battlefield conditions, but activists say it should not be deployed against civilians.

Protesters say the mine project, a joint venture between a military-owned holding company and a Chinese firm, causes environmental, social and health problems, and want it halted.