U.S. monitoring violence in Myanmar

Oct. 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM

YANGON, Myanmar, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The United States is "deeply concerned" by reports of violence against minority Muslims in Myanmar's coastal state of Rakhine, the embassy said Wednesday.

At least one person was killed, scores of homes and mosques were destroyed by arson and hundreds of civilians were displaced by violence against the Muslim minority in Rakhine.

The U.S. Embassy in Yangon said Wednesday it was monitoring the situation closely and calling on authorities to take measures to restore a sense of security as soon as possible.

"The United States is deeply concerned about recent reports of violence against Muslim-majority communities around Thandwe, Rakhine State," the embassy said. "The United States strongly condemns such acts of violence."

The violence erupted as President Thein Sein visited the region for the first time since taking office in 2010. His administration has been called on to address religious violence that's undermined political reforms that began with general elections in 2010.

The Irrawaddy, a Thai newspaper, reported violence continued in the region Wednesday. It reported 60 homes in five villages were destroyed and local police were able to confirm several more casualties in Rakhine.

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