SITTWE, Myanmar: As many as 88 people have died this month in sectarian bloodshed in Myanmar and 26,000 have left their homes, authorities said on Monday.
Hundreds more homes were burned down over the weekend as security forces struggled to quell clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in western Rakhine state.
“Altogether 49 men and 39 women have been killed,” a government official told AFP, bringing the total death toll since June to about 180. Rights groups fear the actual number of people killed could be much higher.
“About 300 houses were burnt down in Pauktaw town on Sunday but there were no casualties in that incident,” AFP quoted an unnamed officials as saying.
Myanmar’s 800,000 stateless Rohingya are viewed by the United Nations as among the most persecuted minorities on the planet.
The United Nations estimates that 26,500 people — mostly Muslims — have been displaced since October 21, in addition to about 75,000 people already crammed into squalid camps following the June unrest.