Scenes of devastation were described by locals after violent clashes involving hundreds of people erupted in a small town in central Myanmar.
Ten people have been killed, at least 20 injured and scores of homes destroyed. .
The trigger was reportedly an argument between a Buddhist couple and Muslim owners of a gold shop.
The riot happened in the town of Meikhtila 540 km north of the administrative capital of Naypyidaw.
A distraught local leader said: “I am really sad over what happened here because this is not just happening to one person. It’s affecting all. As a Buddhist, I don’t want anybody to get hurt.”
Relations between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar have simmered since last year’s sectarian violence in western Rakhine state killed 110 people and left 120,000 homeless.
The United Nations fears such incidents could endanger democratic reforms introduced since military rule ended in 2011.