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Rioters torch Buddhist temples, homes in Bangladesh

Published on Sep 30, 2012 3:16 PM
A Bangladeshi man stands amidst the torched ruins of the Buddhist temple called Ramu Moitree Bihar (Ramu Friendship Temple) at Ramu, some 350km south-east of the capital Dhaka on Sept 30, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

DHAKA (AFP) - Thousands of rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in south-eastern Bangladesh Sunday in a rare attack against the community over a photo posted on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam.

Officials said the mob comprising some 25,000 people set fire to at least five Buddhist temples and dozens of homes in Ramu town and its adjoining villages, some 350km from the capital Dhaka.

The rioters claimed the photo allegedly defaming the Quran was uploaded on Facebook by a Buddhist man from the area, district administrator Joinul Bari said.

"They became unruly and attacked Buddhist houses, torching and damaging their temples from midnight to Sunday morning," he told AFP. "At least 100 houses were damaged. We called in army and border guards to quell the violence," he said, adding that authorities had temporarily banned public gatherings in the area to prevent further clashes.

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