This file picture taken on June 12, 2012, shows a resident riding her bicycle past burned houses amid communal violence in Sittwe, the capital of Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine. AFP PHOTO / FILES
By Mratt Kyaw Thu
July 1, 2013
At least three houses belonging to Muslims have been burned down in Ann Daw Township in the seaport city of Thandwe in Rakhine State, following an altercation between members of the Rohingya community and Buddhist Rakhines on Sunday evening.
No deaths of injuries have so far been reported, and a curfew has now been called in the township.
Mizzima confirmed at 9:30 pm on Sunday that three homes belonging to Muslim families were on fire. Rumors circulated that other buildings in the nearby quarter of Kalarsu had also been set alight.
No security forces appeared to be present; sources said that police had been mobilized in the downtown area of Thandwe.
Gangs of people carrying swords and batons were seen wandering around or on motorcycles in the city center, including a mob in the street near the City Hall.
Some residents told Mizzima that the riot had started because of rumors that a Muslim man had raped an underage girl. Others said a territory dispute between Rakhine and Muslim trishaw riders has escalated into violence.
The percentage of Muslims to Rakhines in central Thandwe is about 50-50. However, just a handful of Rohingya residents live in Ann Daw where the arson took place.
Clashes between the Rohingya and Rakhine communities erupted in June last year over an alleged incident whereby a young Rakhine woman was raped by three Rohingya men, a case which is still ongoing.