Muslim homes razed in Burma's Rakhine state

Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 09:42 am


"The largest Muslim area in the Burmese city of Sittwe was razed to the ground in recent communal violence, a UK broadcaster has reported.

A team from the UK's Channel 4 News gained access to Sittwe, which has been off limits to reporters for months.

They filmed an area once home to 10,000 that had been reduced to rubble.

Days of violence in Rakhine state began in late May when a Buddhist woman was raped and murdered by three Muslims. A mob later killed 10 Muslims."


"Background: Burma unrest

What sparked the violence in June?

The rape and murder of a young Buddhist woman in Rakhine in May set off a chain of deadly religious clashes

Why was a state of emergency declared?

To allow the military to take over administrative control of the region

Who are the Rohingyas?

The UN describes them as a persecuted religious and linguistic minority from western Burma. The Burmese government says they are relatively recent migrants from the Indian sub-continent. Bangladesh already hosts several hundred thousand refugees from Burma and says it cannot take any more"


Rohingyas recount terror of Burma clashes


""My father was shot dead by the Burmese military in front me. Our entire village was destroyed. We ran for our lives. I still don't know what happened to my mother," she said, sitting in a thatched hut in a fishing village near the town of Teknaf in south-eastern Bangladesh.

Ms Khatun is one of the Rohingya Muslims who have managed to cross into Bangladesh following the communal unrest in western Burma's Rakhine province.

The 30-year old broke down repeatedly as she tried to explain what happened over the border.

She says their village came under attack during clashes between majority Buddhists and local Muslims, mostly from the Rohingya minority. Nearly 80 people were killed in the fighting and thousands were displaced."

"There are an estimated 800,000 Rohingya Muslims living in western Burma. The Burmese authorities argue that the Rohingyas are recent migrants from the Indian sub-continent.

But Dhaka says they belong to Burma, so they are not welcome in Bangladesh either. Dhaka says there are already 400,000 Rohingyas living inside the country, most of them, it says illegally.

Bangladesh has pushed nearly 1,500 Rohingya Muslims back into Burma since June saying it cannot afford to help them."

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