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Sectarian Violence Erupts in Eastern Burma

  • VOA News

Officials in eastern Burma said the city of Lashio is calm Wednesday as it recovers from the latest outburst of violence between Buddhists and Muslims.

State media say rioting began Tuesday following reports that a Muslim man had been arrested for setting fire to a Buddhist woman. A mob, including Buddhist monks, surrounded a police station where the man was held, demanding that he be turned over to them.

The mob then rampaged through the town, setting fire to Lashio's largest mosque, a Muslim school and several shops.

Order was restored late Tuesday after authorities imposed a security measure banning unlawful assembly.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities in the rioting. However, the full extent of the damage is not yet known.

Attacks against Muslims have exposed deep rifts in the Buddhist-majority country and cast a shadow over widely praised political reforms.

Deadly unrest last year, mainly targeted at Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine state, left about 200 people dead and tens of thousands displaced.

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