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Three persons killed in Rakhine State

At least three Buddhists were killed on Tuesday in sectarian clashes in the village of Yathedaung, about 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, a Burmese government official told Agency France- Presse on Wednesday.

Burmese police deploy in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, on June 11, 2012. Security forces tried to restore order in Rakhine State which is under emergency rule after a wave of deadly religious violence. The United Nations evacuated foreign workers. Photo: AFP“The death toll could be higher,” he said from Sittwe.

He said he had little more information about the deaths, but added that that monsoon rains had hampered travel and communication in the area.

Despite the new outbreak of violence, the official said the situation was “under control in most parts of Rakhine State,”said AFP.

The region, now under emergency law and a curfew, has seen widespread violence, with up to 60 deaths in the past few weeks and widespread arson.

International humanitarian groups are trying to get more access to the area to feed a refugee community that may number up to 90,000 people in need in Rakhine State, officials said this week.

Muslim Rohingya leaders say the real number of dead in remote villages could be much higher.

The clashes that began on June 8 are the most severe in a string of violent attacks between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, the state’s largest minority group, and ethnic Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship in both Burma and Bangladesh.

Both minority groups in the region claim to be under attack, but the Rohingya have a history of being a target of racism. Although many Rohingya communities have lived in Burma for decades, the government refuses to grant them citizenship – a position that has broad support among other Burmese nationals.

In a televised nationwide speech, President Thein Sein mentioned what he called Burma’s “checkered” history of peaceful co-existence among the country’s diverse ethnic groups. He condemned racial and religion-based violence, which he said could jeopardize the country’s democratic reforms.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 June 2012 17:39 )  

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