Buddhist monks who suffered severe burns during a police crackdown on protesters campaigning against a Chinese copper mine two years ago have launched a lawsuit against Myanmar's home affairs minister.

More than 100 Buddhist monks suffered severe burns from smoke bombs that reportedly contained white phosphorous when police forcefully dispersed the protesters at the Wanbao Mining Copper Ltd.

Justice Trust, a human rights group that works to advance rule of law in Myanmar and is supporting the monks, said in a statement that the lawsuit was launched against Home Affairs Minister Gen. Ko Ko for ordering what it called an illegal police action.

It said that 57 of the injured monks suffered serious burns requiring long-term medical care.