Myanmar warns violence could threaten reforms

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YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar’s government warned today that religious violence could threaten democratic reforms after anti-Muslim mobs rampaged through three more towns in the country’s predominantly Buddhist heartland.

The mobs destroyed mosques and burned dozens of homes over the weekend despite attempts by the government to stem the nation’s latest outbreak of sectarian violence.

In an announcement today on state television, the government pledged to make “utmost efforts” to halt the violence and incitement of racial and religious unrest.

President Thein Sein had declared an emergency in the affected areas of central Myanmar on Friday and deployed army troops to the worst-hit city, Meikhtila, where at least 32 people were killed. According to the U.N., more than 12,000 people were displaced. Today’s announcement said the displaced people would be resettled as soon as calm was restored.

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