MEIKTILA, Myanmar, July 12 (UPI) -- A court in Myanmar found 22 Buddhists guilty of sparking anti-Muslim violence in the city of Meiktila, during which 43 people died and thousands were displaced.
The Buddhists were convicted this week and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to ten years in prison, CNN reported.
The anti-Muslim attacks in Meiktila began March 20 following an argument between a Muslim gold shop owner and two Buddhist sellers. The series of attacks that followed included beatings, arson and immolation.
Myanmar President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in Meiktila, prompting the military to move into the city and restore order.
"I would like to warn all political opportunists and religious extremists who try to exploit the noble teachings of these religions, and have tried to plant hatred among people of different faiths for their own self-interest: Their efforts will not be tolerated," he said.