Buddhist-Muslim violence continues for third day in Burma

Photos and videos coming out of the central Burmese town of Meikhtila show rioting and attacks against Muslim-owned businesses, in the country’s worst communal violence since last year’s clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in the eastern part of the country. The ungoing unrest has displaced thousands and left at least 20 people dead, according to a member of parliament from Meikhtila District.
The source of the conflict remains murky. But both local police sources and Muslim activists agree that it all started with an argument between a Muslim gold-shop owner and Buddhist customers on Wednesday morning. From there, the stories diverge. A police source cited by Radio Free Asia says the shop owner broke an item belonging to the customers, leading to a brawl; Muslim activists, citing local sources, say the customers tried to sell the shop owner fake gold. Either way, the dispute quickly drew a crowd that attacked the goldsmith’s store as well as other Muslim-owned businesses.

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