[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Sectarian clashes in Myanmar claim lives
Three people killed and houses burned down as Muslim Rohingya and Buddhists clash in Rakhine state, authorities say.
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 11:14
More than 50,000 Muslims and up to 10,000 Buddhists are thought to be displaced across Rakhine state [AP]

At least three people have been killed in clashes between Muslim Rohingya and Buddhists in western Myanmar, authorities say.

The unrest in Rakhine state also left hundreds of homes burned to the ground, officials said on Tuesday.

The clashes show that tensions between the two communities remain after widespread violence in June left dozens dead, tens of thousands displaced and prompted rights groups to warn of a humanitarian crisis.

"We got the information that three people, an ethnic Rakhine man and two Muslim women, were killed at Pandeinkone village during yesterday's clashes," Hla Thein, Rakhine state chief justice, told the AFP news agency.

"It's difficult to control the situation."

Thein said the violence started in Minbyar township and spread to Mrauk-U, adding that authorities imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the townships on Monday and both areas were calm on Tuesday.

Stateless people

More than 50,000 Muslims and up to 10,000 Buddhists are thought to be displaced across Rakhine state, where people from both communities were forced to flee as mobs torched entire villages in June's flare-up. The violence broke out after the alleged rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by three Muslim men.

 

Myanmar's government has rejected accusations of abuse by security forces in Rakhine, after the United Nations raised fears of a crackdown on Muslims.

The stateless Rohingya have long been considered by the UN to be one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

Speaking a Bengali dialect similar to one in neighbouring Bangladesh, the Rohingya are viewed as illegal immigrants by the Myanmar government and many Burmese - who call them "Bengalis".

The UN estimates their number at 800,000. But the government does not count them as one of the country's 135 ethnic groups, and so - like Bangladesh - denies them citizenship.

307

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.