Fresh violence in Myanmar

Dhaka, Aug 15 (bdnews24.com )

In a recent communal violence, the largest area of the Muslims in the Myanmarese city of Sittwe was razed to the ground, BBC said on Wednesday, quoting a UK broadcaster.

A team from Channel 4 news reportedly gained access to Sittwe, an area that has been off-limit to reporters for months. The crew filmed an area which once housed more that 10,000 Muslims and now is only rubble.

Communal clashes broke out in the Rakhine state in late May over the alleged rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by three Muslims. In retaliation, 10 Muslims were killed by a mob.

In the following violence, which spread across the state, houses of both Muslims and Buddhists were burnt down.

Most Rohingya Muslims have been moved out of Sittwe to temporary camps.

The Myanmar government declared a state of emergency following the outbreak of violence and imposed a ban on foreign media visiting the region.

The area of Sittwe known as Narzi, which the Channel 4 News team filmed, was once home to an estimated 10,000.

Local Rakhine Buddhists were seen picking through the debris of the houses of the once Rohingya part of the city.

However, one man told the reporters that it was in fact the Muslims who had set fire to their own homes in a bid to burn down the whole community.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that over 80,000 people have been displaced in and around Sittwe and Maungdaw because of the violent clashes.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said that the forces sent to quash the unrests were reportedly targeting the Muslims and called for an independent investigation into their actions.

There is long-standing tension between Rakhine people, who are Buddhist and make up the majority of the state’s population, and Muslims.

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