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SE Asia

Foreign aid groups, UN targeted by Myanmar mob: police

Published on Mar 28, 2014 12:42 AM

YANGON (AFP) - Dozens of aid workers were under police protection in western Myanmar Thursday sparking UN and US alarm after mobs attacked the offices of international relief agencies in a new surge of violence.

Authorities tightened a curfew in Sittwe, the capital of volatile Rakhine State, after gangs of Buddhists ransacked the offices of aid groups who have faced accusations of bias in favour of local Muslims.

Police said they had escorted some 71 aid workers from nine organisations to safety - 32 foreigners and 39 Myanmar nationals.

The unrest erupted late Wednesday when hundreds of Buddhists massed around the offices of Germany-based medical aid group Malteser International. Police said the stone-throwing mob accused an American aid worker of handling a Buddhist religious flag in a disrespectful manner.

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