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Riot continues in Central Myanmar, emergency declared in Meikhtila

Friday March 22, 2013 08:19:03 PM, Agencies

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Yangon: A state of emergency was declared Friday in four townships of Meikhtila district in northern Myanmar as 10 people were killed and 45 others injured in riots that began Wednesday, media reports said.

The four townships in the northern Mandalay region are Meikhtila, Wandwin, Mahlaing and Thazi, Xinhua said citing state media.

Two days of rioting between Buddhists and Muslims in a central Myanmar town has killed at least 20 people, Al Jazeera reported quoting a legislator.

The situation in the town of Meikhtila on Friday remained tense and dangerous Win Htein, a local parliamentarian from the opposition National League for Democracy, said.


Fires set to Muslim homes continued to burn but angry Buddhist residents and monks prevented authorities from putting out the blazes, Al Jazeera reported quoting its reporter from Bangkok.

At least five mosques were torched during the violence that started on Wednesday, reportedly triggered by an argument between a Muslim gold shop owner and his Buddhist customers.

A Buddhist monk was among the first killed, inflaming tensions that led a Buddhist mob to rampage through a Muslim neighbourhood.

The announcement by President U Thein Sein said emergency was declared because administration in the region cannot be carried out effectively by local authorities, and for the sake of security, stability and tranquility in the region.

Under the state of emergency, armed forces would intervene for the restoration of law and order, the announcement said.

Arson and looting continued Friday, sources said.

The riot was sparked by a brawl between buyers and sellers over a bit of gold clip at a gold shop Wednesday.

During clashes between two groups numbering over 200 people, the gold shop and other nearby shops, religious and office buildings and many vehicles were burnt by the rioters.

Since Wednesday night, curfew has been imposed in Meiktila, banning gatherings of more than five people.

More than 3,000 people have been left homeless in Meikhtila, which has a population of aroud 500,000.




 

 



 

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