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Rights group calls for probe into Myanmar's sectarian killings

Human Rights Watch urges Myanmar to investigate the apparent failure of police to stop the recent wave of Buddhist-Muslim killings

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 April, 2013, 2:10am
 

Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday urged Myanmar to investigate the apparent failure of police to stop the recent wave of Buddhist-Muslim killing and arson attacks.

The New York-based rights watchdog released satellite images which it said showed more than 800 buildings which were destroyed in the central town of Meikhtila, leaving several charred areas where homes and properties once stood.

"The government should investigate responsibility for the violence in Meikhtila and the failure of the police to stop wanton killings and the burning of entire neighborhoods," said HRW Asia director Brad Adams.

Last month's unrest, which later spread to several other towns, has left 43 people dead and more than 1,300 homes and other buildings destroyed, according to state media in the former army-ruled nation.

According to the United Nations, about 12,000 people have been displaced. The worst-hit areas in Meikhtila are believed to be neighbourhoods that were once home to "a significant number of Muslims", said HRW deputy Asia director Phil Robertson.

The violence "was allowed to run for days on end", he said. "There's been plenty of information that we found, and that others have reported, of essentially the police allowing it to go on and not intervening."

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