Myanmar declares emergency after 17 die

June 11, 2012 at 8:09 AM
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YANGON, Myanmar, June 11 (UPI) -- Myanmar declared a state of emergency in the western state of Rakhine, where 17 people died in clashes between Muslims and Buddhists, officials said.

President Thein Sein's office issued the order Sunday, the government-run New Light of Myanmar reported. .

U.N. personnel in Rakhine were being 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 last week attacked a bus in the Taungup area, killing 10 Rohingya Muslims in retaliation, authorities said. On Friday, seven people were killed in clashes that destroyed hundreds of homes

CNN said a growing number of clashes have been reported between the two groups.

"What is currently happening in the Rakhine state is about putting grievances, hatred, and desire for revenge at the forefront, based on racial and religious grounds, and that's why anarchic actions are becoming widespread," Thein Sein said Sunday in a televised address.

CNN said it appears the government is clamping down on the flow of information about Rakhine from non-government publications in Myanmar

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