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Burmese Government Apologizes For Violence Against Monks, Protesters

Burma's presidential office has formally apologized for a recent crackdown against protesters at a copper mine that injured more than 100 Buddhist monks.

President's Office Minister Hla Tun and other officials met on December 15 with injured monks and their leaders in the central city of Mandalay to issue the apology.

They blamed the violence on the "incompetence" of police.

Protest leader Shin Wirathu said the move by the government satisfied their demands for a formal apology.

Police used water cannons, tear gas and smoke bombs on November 29 to break up protesters who occupied the Letpadaung mine in northwestern Burma -- a joint venture between Burma's military and a Chinese firm.

The protesters want the project halted. They say it is causing environmental, social and health problems.

Based on reporting by AP and BBC