Myanmar declares state of emergency to stem sectarian clashes
Yangon - President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency on Friday in central Myanmar where fighting between Buddhist and Muslim communities has left seven dead and scores injured.
The state of emergency was declared in four townships -Meikhtila, Wandwin, Malaing and Tharzi - in the central Mandalay Region, MRTV announced.
"As the regional government cannot perform its administrative duties in these four towns ... it will take the military’s help to protect the people," the announcement said.
On Thursday, fighting broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in Meikhtila, about 120 kilometres south of Mandalay, reportedly sparked by an altercation over a hair pin at a Muslim gold shop.
The fight turned into a riot, with violence spreading throughout the city and to neighbouring townships, claiming seven lives by Friday, including one monk and one woman, and at least 59 injured, a Meikhtila police officer said.
Scores of shops and houses were burned down and five mosques were damaged.//DPA