Myanmar mob burns school in riot-hit city
Myanmar police stand guard on a street in Mandalay, on July 4, 2014 - by Soe Than Win
Angry mourners, some carrying crude weapons, rioted in Mandalay after the funeral of a 36-year-old Buddhist victim of the country's latest eruption of religious unrest, witnesses said.
A school and dormitory in the Muslim area of a cemetery on the outskirts of the city were seen charred and damaged on Saturday.
"More than 70 police were here but did nothing," said Win Naing, a Muslim donor to the school, who watched the attack from his hiding place in the home of a Buddhist friend.
He said some of the rioters were armed with sticks, metal pipes and even saws.
No children were believed to be in the school at the time and nobody was thought to have been injured in the attack.
Several days of violence, sparked by an accusation of rape, have also left a Muslim dead and 14 other people injured.
"Police could have stopped the mob but they did not," said Zaw Zaw Latt, a Muslim member of an interfaith group in the city.
There was no immediate comment from police.
At least 250 people have been killed across Myanmar since 2012 in Buddhist-Muslim clashes that have cast a shadow over the country's political reforms.
Police have been accused of inaction in the past and the government has deployed soldiers in some cases to restore order.
A nighttime curfew has been imposed in Mandalay and nine people have been arrested in connection with the recent violence.
Police said they were boosting security measures as a precaution in other cities, including the main city Yangon which has a diverse population of religious and ethnic minorities.
Social media users were unable to access Facebook for the second straight evening Friday, amid speculation that Myanmar had blocked the site to curb the spread of inflammatory comment online. The website was working normally on Saturday.
Radical monks have been accused of whipping up religious tensions, with fiery warnings that the country's main religion is under threat from Islam.
A friend of the slain Buddhist man told AFP that a Muslim gang had used a "sword" in the attack.
The dead Muslim man, a popular local bicycle shop owner, was later killed while on his way to attend early morning prayers.
- US missionaries beat Ebola as Liberia crisis worsens
- US strikes Islamic State in Iraq after hostage horror
- US aircraft bomb targets in northern Iraq
- Indonesia court upholds Widodo presidential victory
- Bank of America agrees $17 bn deal over dodgy mortgages
- Russia targets McDonald's in expanding East-West trade war
- Two American Ebola patients leave hospital
- Two Americans with Ebola recover, leave hospital
- Kiev says Russian army vehicles seized as aid checks start
- Russian aid trucks undergo Ukraine border checks
- First Malaysian bodies from MH17 crash fly home
- Celcom boss tipped to become new Malaysia Airlines CEO
- Penang Tunnel feasibility study in January with construction starting 2016
- Terengganu PAS wants 2 Selangor Adun sacked over MB issue – Bernama
- Dr M’s words have made impact across nation, ex-minister warns Najib
- Malaysia keen to take domestic workers from Nepal – Bernama
- Who’;s being truthful about economy, Dr M or Bank Negara, asks Perkasa
- Large screens in KL for telecast of ceremony honouring MH17 victims – Bernama
- Time for all to condemn Islamic State for their violence
- Malaysian killed in Syria member of militant group, say police
- PAS deny discussing Azmin for MB with Selangor Sultan
- Umno denies Najib received ‘7 demands’; letter from Dr Mahathir
- We won’;t stake claim on MB post, says Selangor PAS chief
- High Court upholds conviction, sentence on former Perak shariah chief prosecutor – Bernama
- Produce author first, judge rules in Kit Siang’s defamation suit