Myanmar violence troubles London

June 11, 2012 at 12:44 PM
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LONDON, June 11 (UPI) -- The British government expressed deep concern over reports of ongoing violence in western Myanmar, adding a travel advisory was now in place for the country.

During the weekend, Myanmar declared a state of emergency in the western state of Rakhine, where 17 people died in clashes between Muslims and Buddhists.

U.N. personnel in Rakhine were relocated for safety reasons, CNN reported Monday.

Violence erupted along the coastal area near Bangladesh after the alleged rape and killing last month of a Buddhist woman. Buddhists retaliated by attacking Muslims, leaving several people dead in clashes last week.

British Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne, in a statement, expressed deep concern over the ongoing violence in Rakhine.

"We call on all parties to act with restraint and urge the authorities and community leaders to open discussions to end the violence and to protect all members of the local population," he said in a statement.

Since general elections in 2010, Myanmar has received praise from the international community. Despite political developments, however, many voices have expressed concern about the human rights situation in the country.

Browne added that London was advising against all but essential travel to the region.

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