Myanmar has declared martial law in four central towns following unrest between Buddhists and Muslims that has left at least 20 people dead.
Agitated crowds of Buddhists were still roaming the streets and several neighbourhoods were still on fire or smouldering after hundreds of Muslims were forced to flee for their lives. Two camps now hold more than 2,000 displaced people.
“When I jumped out of my car, a group of people started attacking me. They struck me with swords and knives,” said a Muslim man.
“What happened here, everything, was unnecessary. I think if police had arrested this gold shop owner, this present situation would not exist. And then when a monk was killed, anger from monks and other people meant the problem escalated,” said a Buddhist monk.
The trouble began after an argument between a Buddhist couple and a gold shop owner turned violent. It is symptomatic of rising ethic tensions in the country. The government has been criticised for not doing more to stop it.