Death toll rises to 56 in renewed riot in Myanmar , violence forces more Rohingya Muslims to flee homes


JNN 25 Oct 2012 YANGON – At least 56 people including 31 women have been killed and 64 others injured in renewed sectarian riots which occurred in four townships in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state over the past three days, local official sources confirmed on Thursday.

During the riot, over 1,900 houses and eight other religious buildings were destroyed in arson fire in Myaebon, Mrauk U, Kyauk Phyu and Minbya townships.

The communal riot also effected Kyaukphyu three days after it occurred in Minbya and Mrauk U last Sunday.

The local authorities had imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time in Minbya and Mrauk U since Monday night as the riot escalated there.

The government and local authorities have carried out with concerted efforts to keep the recent Rakhine incident under control by declaring a state of emergency and issuing curfew order, the state radio and television quoted an announcement of the President Office as reporting.

The government warned that they will expose and take legal action against those who are manipulating behind the conflict, the announcement said.

Rakhine state has been declared a state of emergency along with imposition of curfew in six prior townships — Maungtaw, Buthidaung, Sittway, Thandwe, Kyaukphyu and Yanbye since June 10.

The curfew was extended to Kyauktaw on Aug. 8 and then to Minbya and Mrauk U on Oct. 22 bringing the total number of townships under curfew to eight so far.

During May-June incident in Rakhine state, altogether 50 people were killed, 54 people injured. A total of 2,230 houses, 14 religious buildings were burnt down, according to official figures of the President Office.

“At least 20 people (both Rakhine and Muslim) have been killed in clashes since October 21. The death toll can reach about 50,” Rakhine state spokesman Myo Thant said on Thursday.

Thant also said that several people were injured during the recent clash which broke out between extremist Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the country’s western state.

Meanwhile, UN chief in Yangon Ashok Nigam voiced concern on Thursday over recent reports of killings and displacement of minority Muslims following a new round of violence against Rohingyas.

“The UN is alarmed by reports of displacements and destruction,” Nigam said, adding the violence in the Rakhine state “has resulted in deaths and has forced thousands of people, including women and children, to flee their homes.”

Tensions have heightened across Rakhine, forcing Muslim people to flee to emergency camps located in Rakhine’s capital Sittwe.

The Buddhist-majority government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas and has classified them as illegal migrants, even though the Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origins, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.

Reports say more than hundreds of Rohingyas have been killed in Rakhine over the past few months.

Muslims in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine have been forced to flee to emergency camps, as extremist Buddhists step up attacks on the Rohingya Muslims.

Government officials said hundreds of homes have been torched in the latest round of violence in Rakhine, where clashes broke out between Buddhists and Rohingyas.

Rakhine state spokesman Myo Thant said at least five Muslims have been killed and about 80 others wounded in four communities since October 21.

Tensions have heightened across Rakhine, and the Myanmar government has imposed a curfew in several areas.

According to figures by the United Nations Refugee Agency, over 1,000 displaced Rohingyas have arrived in Rakhine’s capital Sittwe over the past few days.

“Many more are supposed to be on their way. These people are all coming to the IDP (internally displaced person) camps close to Sittwe, which are already overcrowded,” said UN Refugee Agency spokesperson Vivian Tan.

Myanmar army forces allegedly provided the Buddhists with containers of petrol to set ablaze the houses of Muslim villagers and force them out of their houses.

The silence of human rights organizations toward the abuses against Rohingyas has emboldened the extremist Buddhists and Myanmar’s government forces.

The Buddhist-majority government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas and has classified them as illegal migrants, even though the Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origins, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.

Reports say some 650 Rohingyas have been killed in Rakhine over the past few months. About 1,200 others are also missing and 80,000 more have been displaced.

One thought on “Death toll rises to 56 in renewed riot in Myanmar , violence forces more Rohingya Muslims to flee homes

  1. Pingback: SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR END TO LAWLESSNESS IN MYANMAR’S RAKHINE STATE FOLLOWING LATEST VIOLENCE | An Average American Woman

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