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Burma probes sectarian violence

Burma's government has formed a commission to investigate sectarian violence in which at least 83 people were killed.

President Thein Sein's website announced the commission more than two months after the June clashes between Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas that displaced tens of thousands of people.

Mr Thein Sein has rejected calls from the United Nations and human rights groups for independent investigators, saying the unrest was an internal affair.

The 27-member commission will be headed by a retired Religious Affairs ministry official and include former student activists, a former UN officer and representatives from political parties and Islamic and other religious organisations.

It will also propose solutions to the long-standing hatred between the communities and submit its findings by September 17.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon welcomed the establishment of the commission, which "could make important contributions to restoring peace and harmony in the state and in creating a conducive environment for a more inclusive way forward to tackle the underlying causes of the violence, including the condition of the Muslim communities in Rakhine", UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said.

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