Anti-Muslim mobs rampaged through three more towns in Myanmar’s predominantly Buddhist heartland over the weekend, destroying mosques and burning dozens of homes despite government efforts to stem the nation’s latest outbreak of sectarian violence.
President Thein Sein had declared an emergency in central Myanmar on Friday and deployed army troops to the worst-hit city, Meikhtila, where 32 people were killed and 10,000 mostly Muslim residents were displaced. But even as soldiers restored order there after several days of anarchy in which armed Buddhists torched the city’s Muslim quarters, the unrest has spread south toward the capital, Naypyitaw.
A Muslim resident of Tatkone, about 80 km from Meikhtila, said by telephone that a group of about 20 men ransacked a one-story brick mosque there late Sunday night, pelting it with stones and smashing windows before soldiers fired shots to drive them away.
A day earlier, another mob burned down a mosque and 50 homes in the nearby town of Yamethin, state television reported. Another mosque and several buildings were destroyed the same day in Lewei, farther south.