Myanmar tries to restore calm after ethnic violence kills 7


A pro-democracy activist from Myanmar holds a placard as she shouts slogans during a protest against the Myanmar army in New Delhi on June 9, 2012. Some 100 activists demanded an immediate end to the humanitarian crisis in their homeland state of Kachin.



Security forces in Myanmar are attempting to preserve calm after seven people died in the latest round of ethnic violence there.

Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya clashed on Friday in the western state of Rakhine, setting fire to hundreds of homes and buildings.

Naval vessels and airplanes carrying troops arrived today, Reuters reported.

Government sources told Reuters that hundreds of Rohingya rioted in Maungdaw Township and set fire to Buddhist homes and businesses.

A reported rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by Muslim Rohingya started the violence 10 days ago.

A mob attacked a bus headed to a religious gathering and killed 10 Muslims in reprisal, The Associated Press reported.

The government ordered an overnight curfew and banned public gatherings of more than five people.

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The AP, citing local media, said fire damaged almost 500 homes and 20 businesses.

It also said soldiers had to assist police during the riots, using warning shots to dispel the rioters.

A state-run newspaper, Myanma Ahlin, reported 1,000 “terrorists” stormed Maungdaw General Hospital.

The AP is reporting that rioters were Muslims and the dead are all Buddhist, with about 17 others injured.

Myanmar’s government doesn’t recognize the 800,000 Rohingya in the western regions as citizens, Voice of America reported.

The US State Department issued a statement today calling for calm.

“We also encourage the government to pursue an investigation in an expeditious and transparent manner that respects due process and the rule of law,” spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, according to the AP.

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