YANGON - Several foreign aid workers were under police protection Thursday in unrest-torn western Myanmar, authorities said, after security forces fired warning shots to disperse a mob laying siege to the offices of an international humanitarian group.
Hundreds of local Buddhists massed around the offices of Germany-based medical aid group Malteser International late Wednesday in Sittwe, the capital of volatile Rakhine State, hurling stones and prompting police to escort at least eight staff to safety.
It is the latest flaring of violence in the state, where tensions are running high following several outbreaks of deadly communal violence largely targeting Rohingya Muslims.
"Although local police, monks and some residents tried to disperse the angry people, they continued throwing stones. So police fired warning shots," Police Lieutenant Colonel Min Aung told AFP, adding that no one was injured.
He said the aid workers remained under police protection.