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Myanmar deploys troops after Buddhists and Muslims clash

Myanmar's Rohingya refugees in Thailand hold placards during a protest to call for an end to the ongoing unrest and violence in Rakhine State, outside the United Nations office in Bangkok, On June 11.//EPA

Myanmar's Rohingya refugees in Thailand hold placards during a protest to call for an end to the ongoing unrest and violence in Rakhine State, outside the United Nations office in Bangkok, On June 11.//EPA

UN to pull out staff from Rakhine state



Yangon - Myanmar troops on Monday occupied areas of aprovincial western capital and other towns where sectarian violencehas caused several casualties over the past week, witnesses said.



On Sunday, President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency inRakhine state, which borders Bangladesh. He said it was necessary tocurb "anarchic activities." "The situation could deteriorate and could extend beyond Rakhinestate if we are killing each other with such sectarianism, endlesshatred, the desire for vengeance and anarchy," Thein Sein said.



The United Nations said Monday it would temporarily withdrawnon-essential staff from Rakhine and relocate them to Yangon.



Sectarian violence has raged since June 3 when a mob of Buddhistskilled 10 Muslims that they pulled off a bus in Taungup township.



The attack was reportedly sparked by the rape and murder of alocal woman on May 28, allegedly by three Muslims who were laterarrested. One of the suspects was found hanged in his cell Sunday.



On Friday, Muslims of the Rohingya ethnic minority allegedly wenton a rampage in Maung Taw town, north of the capital Sittwe, burningabout 500 houses and killing seven people, according to state media.



As the violence spread to other townships, the government firstimposed dusk-to-dawn curfews in some areas and then declared martiallaw throughout the state on Sunday.



"On Sunday night, we heard that Muslims burned houses in ByanPhyu, San Pya and Nar Zi villages where they chopped up someBuddhists," Sittwe resident Zan Mya Wai said by telephone.



"They burned down a monastery in Nar Zi," she added.



On Monday, four heads were found in Nar Zi town near Sittwe, 500kilometres north-east of Yangon, according to officials who asked toremain anonymous.



About 100 Rohingyas demonstrated outside the UN regionalheadquarters in Thailand Monday calling for Secretary General BanKi-moon to intervene in Rakhine state to prevent "genocide." "If there is no intervention in a few days, all the Muslims inArakan (Rakhine) will disappear from this world," their petitionsaid.



"We’re calling on the authorities to allow an independent body togo in to investigate the situation," said Phil Robertson of HumanRights Watch.dpa ss sk pj ses cds 110842 GMT Jun 12


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