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Exodus of thousands after Myanmar unrest

Published on Oct 27, 2012 12:47 PM
 
This picture taken on Oct 10, 2012, shows Muslim Rohingyas sheltered at an Islamic school for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) located on the outskirts of Sittwe, capital of Myanmar's western Rakhine state. Seething resentment between Buddhists and Muslims erupted this week in a wave of fresh unrest in Rakhine state, prompting international warnings the unrest imperils the nation's nascent reform process. -- PHOTO: AFP

SITTWE, Myanmar (AFP) - Thousands of displaced people have surged towards already overcrowded camps in western Myanmar, the UN said on Saturday, after vicious new communal violence that has left dozens dead.

Seething resentment between Buddhists and Muslims erupted this week in a wave of fresh unrest in Rakhine state, prompting international warnings the unrest imperils the nation's nascent reform process.

The official death toll stood at 67. Roughly half the dead were women, according to a state spokesman, who was unable to provide a casualty breakdown by community.

Tens of thousands of mainly Muslim Rohingya are already crammed into squalid camps around the state capital Sittwe after deadly violence sparked in June and the United Nations on Saturday said the latest fighting had caused a further 3,200 to make their way towards the shelters. "An additional 2,500 are reportedly on their way," said Vivian Tan, spokesman for the UN's refugee agency.

 
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