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Anti-Muslim riots re-erupt in Myanmar

AFP
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A man puts out a smouldering fire at his house at Oakkan town, near Yangon on Wednesday.
A man puts out a smouldering fire at his house at Oakkan town, near Yangon on Wednesday.

Religious violence that saw mobs attack mosques and torch homes left at least one dead in central Myanmar, authorities said on Wednesday, as anti-Muslim unrest crept closer to the commercial hub Yangon.

Riots broke out on Tuesday in the small town of Oakkan, around 100 kilometres north of Yangon, after a woman accidentally bumped into a young monk, authorities said, amid acute Buddhist-Muslim tensions after a series of attacks in March. "A man died in hospital of his injuries this morning," a local police official told AFP, adding that nine others were injured.

Authorities have arrested 18 people after a series of arson attacks on Tuesday evening, president's spokesman Ye Htut said in a Facebook update, adding some 77 homes had been set alight in four villages in a region north of Yangon. Terrified villagers of both faiths said police were not there to protect them when a crowd attacked a local mosque on Tuesday evening in Mie Laung Sakhan village.

The village mosque was seriously damaged and around 10 homes burned. No security presence was visible until late morning, when about 30 police arrived.AFP


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