Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Burma riots death toll reaches 40

A man walks among the debris of buildings destroyed during ethnic unrest between Buddhists and Muslims in Meikhtila (AP)

Soldiers have pulled more bodies from the wreckage of a riot-hit city in central Burma, taking the death toll from recent sectarian violence to 40.

The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said eight more bodies were found in Meikhtila as soldiers continued to clear devastated areas set ablaze by anti-Muslim mobs during three days of rioting last week.

Amid fears of spreading violence, shop owners in the largest city, Rangoon, were told to close by 8.30pm or 9pm on Monday night.

The fears appeared unfounded but most shops remain closed on Tuesday due to a national holiday.

The upsurge in sectarian unrest casts a shadow over president Thein Sein's administration as it struggles to make democratic changes after half a century of military rule.

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