Anti-Muslim violence spreads across central Myanmar
Friday, March 29, 2013 - 01:16
March 29 - Anti-Muslim violence spreads through central Myanmar with the latest incidents flaring up in Sit Kwin, north of the capital Yangon. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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Anti-Muslim violence sweeps through the town of Sit Kwin in Myanmar.
Muslims were always a small group in the town -- numbering no more than 100 in a village of 2,000 people.
But as sectarian violence led by Buddhist mobs spreads across central Myanmar, many Muslims are disappearing.
Some are hiding in fear for their life.
(SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) MUSLIM RESIDENT, TUN TUN, SAYING:
"Yesterday, after they destroyed our houses, they tried chasing Muslims and tried to find where they're hiding. We don't even dare to go outside to buy something."
On March 20th, 42 people were killed in violence in one town. Unrest led by hardline Buddhists has now spread to at least 10 other towns and villages.
Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country, but about 5 percent of its 60 million people are Muslims.
The unrest poses the biggest challenge to a reformist government that took office in 2011, after nearly a half-century of military rule.
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