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Dozens Dead in Myanmar as Sectarian Violence Erupts Again
Posted by The Agonist on October 26th, 2012

From our partners at The Agonist

New York Times, By Thomas Fuller, October 26

Phitsanulok, Thailand — A resurgence of sectarian violence in western Myanmar has left more than 60 people dead, according to a local government official, and is renewing concerns that tensions could spread to other parts of the country during a fragile transition from authoritarian rule to democracy.

Win Myaing, a local government official, said by telephone on Friday that 64 people had been killed and more than 2,000 homes destroyed during seven days of sporadic fighting. Some casualties were attributed to security forces opening fire on crowds.

Reports from Rakhine State, the area of the fighting, paint a picture of a chaotic and bloody week of clashes between Buddhist and Muslim communities that are increasingly segregated after thousands of Muslims, a minority in the country, fled to refugee camps during the last outbreak of violence in June.

This week’s violence again put Muslims on the run. Hundreds of Muslim villagers fled onto boats and some are still at sea, according to a community leader. The United Nations said people were also heading to the already overcrowded refugee camps it helped set up after the earlier clashes.

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