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Malaysia arrests 236 ahead of banned rally
Malaysia detains at least 236 in crackdown on biggest opposition-backed demonstration in years
By The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) ' Malaysian police say they have detained at least 236 people trying to assemble at a stadium for a banned rally seeking electoral reforms.

The rally pllaned for Saturday is the culmination of weeks of pressure on Prime Minister Najib Razak's long-ruling coalition to make election laws fairer and more transparent ahead of national polls widely expected by mid-2012.

Authorities have taken extraordinary security measures by sealing off roads across Kuala Lumpur, closing train stations and deploying trucks mounted with water cannons near the Independence Stadium.

The federal police force says it has detained 236 people in connection to the opposition-backed rally. Many were held at public areas where they gathered to start their walk to the stadium.

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