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More rioters arrested in Rakhine State

Unrest continued in Maungtaw in Rakhine State in Burma’s western region with 22 rioters arrested over the weekend, state-run media reported on Sunday. Authorities say 50 people have died in the rioting that began on May 28.
Rakhine residents and monks demonstrate at Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon on Saturday, June 9, 2012, calling for justice in Rakhine State. Photo: MizzimaThe arrests came as authorities patrolled the township's Chienkhali village to maintain stability, said the New Light of Myanmar on Monday.

Those arrested were carrying knives, rods and sharpened sticks, police said.

According to the latest official figures, a total of 50 people were killed and 54 others injured in the bloody clashes from May 28 to June 14. During the period, a total of 78 riots broke out with 2,230 residential houses destroyed by fire.

Rakhine State has been under a state of emergency and curfew since June 10 in six areas includig Maungtaw, Buthidaung, Sittway, Thandwe, Kyaukphyu and Yanbye.

Officials from the government and the United Nations said 37 refugee camps have been opened in the area with a total of 31,884 refuges so far. Fifteen camps were set up in Sittway for 5,690 Rakhinese refugees and two for 18,886 Muslims. There are also 14 refugee camps in Yadae Taung, four in Ponnagyun and two in Pauktaw for Buddhist and Muslims.

Local reports said some shops in the downtown area of Sittway were reopened on Saturday, while a big bazaar and schools remained closed.

Last week, Mizzima reported that Burma’s minister for border affairs, accompanied by the top U.N. Burma envoy and Islam leaders, visited Maungtaw, where they met people whose homes were destroyed in the recent sectarian unrest.

Lt-Gen Thein Htay told refugees the government would help displaced people in rebuilding their homes, which were burned during the recent sectarian unrest, and restore peace and stability in the region. Action would be taken against the people who rioted during the unrest, he said.

The U.N. special envoy to Burma, Vijay Nambiar, told refugees that the U.N. would work in cooperation with the government to provide relief to the refugees and steps were being taken to get access to the region.

Nine monasteries, seven Muslim mosques and one school were burned down in the violence, said officials.
Last Updated ( Monday, 18 June 2012 15:39 )  

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