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KEY DISSIDENT FREED IN MYANMAR

One of Myanmar's best known and longest-imprisoned political dissidents has been freed as part of a general release of almost 4,000 prisoners granted by the country's ruling junta, a family member confirmed Saturday.

Min Ko Naing, 42, is one of about two dozen political detainees believed to have been released since Thursday, when the junta announced it was suspending the sentences of 3,937 prisoners who it said had been improperly charged.

Min Ko Naing was a student leader of a 1988 popular uprising against military rule, which has been in place since 1962.

Nothing indicated whether Myanmar's most famous prisoner, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, would be freed from house arrest. She has been detained in her Yangon residence since May 2003 after a deadly clash between her followers and government supporters.

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