Suu Kyi neutral on Myanmar violence

Nov. 4, 2012 at 10:01 AM

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Sunday she won't take sides in escalating violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state.

In an interview with the BBC, the Nobel laureate said she was under pressure to takes sides, but wouldn't.

''Both sides are displeased because I will not take a stand with them, but my stand is that first let us establish rule of law,'' she said.

Violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims began in the northwestern state in May after a Buddhist woman was raped and murdered by three Muslims. Soon after, a mob killed 10 Muslims in retaliation and violence has escalated.

Ashok Nigam, the top U.N. official in the capital Naypyitaw, said last week more than 22,000 people had been displaced from their homes in the region in just a week.

Human Rights Watch alleges Myanmar's military has mostly targeted Muslims in its bid to end the fighting, which the government denies.

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