Myanmar violence spreading

March 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, March 25 (UPI) -- Security in Myanmar intensified after sectarian violence spilled out of the central city of Meiktila, though authorities said the situation was under control.

The Myanmar government declared a state of emergency Friday following clashes between Muslims and Buddhists in Meiktila. At least 32 people died in the violence and another 39 people were injured, the official Xinhua newspaper in China reports.

Rioters set fire to dozens of homes and religious buildings in Yamethin, about 30 miles from Meiktila, the report adds.

Security was restored when riot police responded. A police official from Yamethin told The Irawaddy, a Myanmar newspaper published in Thailand, that investigations were under way.

"We are still investigating the cause of this incident and who is involved, so at this moment we can't disclose any detailed information," the unidentified official said.

Last week, the U.N. Human Rights Council said religious violence in the country was "troublesome."

Violence in Myanmar has overshadowed democratic developments that began with general elections in 2010.

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