56 Killed, 2000 Homes Torched In Myanmar...
Myanmar official says 56 dead, almost 2,000 houses torched in latest ethnic violence
October 25, 2012 At least 56 people were killed and nearly 2,000 homes destroyed in the latest outbreak of ethnic violence in western Myanmar, a government official said Thursday.
See also:The 25 men and 31 women were reported dead in four Rakhine state townships in violence between the Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities that re-erupted Sunday, local government spokesman Win Myaing said. He said some 1,900 homes had been burned down in fresh conflict, while 60 men and four women were injured. It was unclear how many of the victims were Rohingya people and how many were Rakhine.
In June, ethnic violence in the state left at least 90 people dead and destroyed more than 3,000 homes. Tens of thousands of people remain in refugee camps. The United States called for Myanmar authorities to take immediate action to halt the violence. The United Nations appealed for calm.
An Associated Press photographer who traveled to Kyauktaw, one of the affected townships 45 kilometers (75 miles) north of the Rakhine capital of Sittwe, said he saw 11 wounded people brought by ambulance to the local 25-bed hospital, most with gunshot wounds. One was declared dead after arrival. All the victims being treated were Rakhine, but that could reflect an inability or unwillingness of Rohingya victims to be treated there.
A male volunteer at the hospital, Min Oo, said by telephone that five bodies, including one of a woman, had also been brought there. He said the injured persons were brought by boat from Kyauktaw town 16 kilometers (10 miles) away, and taken from the jetty by the ambulances. An account by a Rakhine villager in the area suggested great confusion and tension. The villager said that when groups of Rakhine and the Rohingya had a confrontation, government soldiers shot into a crowd of Rakhine, even though, according to his claim, it had been dispersing. The villager would not give his name for fear of violent reprisals.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/10...#ixzz2ANFRx79r
UN Concerned About Outbreak of Violence in Western Burma
October 25, 2012 - The United Nations has expressed concern about the most recent outbreak of communal violence in five townships in Burma's Northern Rakhine region.
The spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement Thursday, saying the widening mistrust between the communities is being exploited by militant and criminal elements, to cause large-scale loss of human lives, material destruction, displaced families as well as fear, humiliation and hatred. The U.N. statement calls on Burmese authorities to bring under control lawlessness and vigilante attacks and to put a stop to threats and extremist rhetoric.
Fighting and chaos appear to be taking hold in western Burma, where a deep-seeded conflict between Buddhists and Muslims has flared with deadly consequences. Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing Thursday said at least 56 people have died since new fighting erupted Sunday, including 31 women. Dozens of others have been injured. Parts of the area also have been burned to the ground. Burmese officials said almost 2,000 homes have now been razed by fires, along with eight religious buildings, since these latest clashes erupted.
Survivors are telling harrowing tales of the violence, including one man who said his father, Sein Thar Aung, was seriously injured during Monday's fighting in the town of Mrauk Oo. "They (the Rohingya) were on the village road and we were on the outside one before a clash. He (SEIN THAR AUNG) was leading ahead of our group and then withdrawing back when a Kalar (Rohingya) jumped out from a house through a window and stabbed him with a spear,'' the man said.
Zaw Htay, in the office of the president, tells VOA Burmese that the government is taking action. "In dealing with this situation, first the state government has imposed curfew. Next, the president recently ordered to send more security forces over there," Zaw Htay said. Curfews also are being imposed on four towns at the center of the violence -- Mrauk Oo, Myebon, Minbya and Kyauk Phyu. But some witnesses say the army has so far been unable to bring any calm, with others claiming that soldiers were firing randomly into crowds to break up the fighting.