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A Buddhist monk who suffered burn injuries when security forces cracked down protesters lies in a hospital bed in Monywa, northwestern Myanmar, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Security forces cracked down on protesters occupying a copper mine early Thursday, using water cannons and other devices to break up the rally hours before opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was expected.
MONYWA, Myanmar—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.


Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi waves to her supporters as she arrives in Monywa town, northwestern Myanmar, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Security forces
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi waves to her supporters as she arrives in Monywa town, northwestern Myanmar, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Security forces used water cannons, tear gas and smoke bombs Thursday to clear protesters from a copper mine in northwestern Myanmar, wounding villagers and Buddhist monks just hours before Suu Kyi arrived in the area to hear their grievances. ((AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe))


Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi waves to her supporters as she arrives in Monywa town, northwestern Myanmar, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Security forces
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi waves to her supporters as she arrives in Monywa town, northwestern Myanmar, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Security forces used water cannons, tear gas and smoke bombs Thursday to clear protesters from a copper mine in northwestern Myanmar, wounding villagers and Buddhist monks just hours before Suu Kyi arrived in the area to hear their grievances. ((AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe))

Supporters of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi dance before the start of a public rally with her attendance in front of Letpadaung mine in Monywa
Supporters of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi dance before the start of a public rally with her attendance in front of Letpadaung mine in Monywa town, northwestern Myanmar, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Security forces used water cannons, tear gas and smoke bombs Thursday to clear protesters from a copper mine in northwestern Myanmar, wounding villagers and Buddhist monks just hours before Suu Kyi arrived in the area to hear their grievances. ((AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe))