Myanmar police arrest 34 over fatal Mandalay riots

34 suspects arrested for involvement in communal riots that witnessed a Buddhist and a Muslim man beaten and hacked to death.

Myanmar police arrest 34 over fatal Mandalay riots

World Bulletin / News Desk

Police in Myanmar's second city of largest Mandalay have arrested 34 people suspected of taking part in communal riots earlier this month that left two people dead, state media reported on Monday.

A Buddhist and a Muslim man were beaten and hacked to death by mobs during violence that raged for three days from July 1. The violence started after a rumor spread on Facebook that a Muslim teashop owner had raped a Buddhist woman. Enraged by the story, a Buddhist mob gathered in the streets and began attacking buildings and vehicles.

Three of the 34 suspects were arrested on suspicion of murder, but the government-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper did not say whether suspects have been found for both killings.

The remaining 31 were arrested for offences including arson, "causing harm", incitement and illegal possession of weapons.

Mandalay's police force is still hunting for more culprits, the report added.

This month's riots were the latest eruption of anti-Muslim violence that has spread across Myanmar since June 2012, tarnishing the reform process spearheaded by President Thein Sein under the new quasi-civilian government.

Up to 280 people have been killed in the clashes and tens of thousands forced to flee their homes. Most of the victims have been Muslims, including a large number of a persecuted minority called Rohingya, who live chiefly in western Rakhine state.  

Last Mod: 14 Temmuz 2014, 14:00
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