BANGKOK, March 20, Reuter: Up to 28 people have been killed in Rangoon this week in the worst riots in Burma since 1974, according to persistent reports reaching Bangkok.

The unconfirmed reports said troops armed with guns and batons stormed into the city on Thursday to disperse thousands of protesting students at several campuses,

Rampaging residents and students smashed and set fire to government buildings but did not touch private property, travellers, returning to Bangkok said on Saturday.

Hundreds of demonstrators were jailed and about 50 injured in unrest triggered by the shooting to death of a student in clashes with local youths last weekend, diplomats here said

Witnesses said government trucks roamed the streets to announce curfew and urge people to go home on Friday night.

Sources on Sunday said the situation in the city was still tense.

Expatriates in Bangkok said all international telephone lines from Rangoon had been cut since Saturday although calls originating in Bangkok could get through.

The unrest began with a brawl between students and local youths at the Rangoon Institute of Technology on March 12 but by Wednesday had turned into a widespread riot of students and residents against the government.

Burmese state radio, monitored here, said leaders of central and regional party committees and the armed forces on Saturday made preparations for the sixth party Congress.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 25, 1988