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Myanmar invites Islamic group probe of sectarian unrest

Published on Aug 10, 2012 9:13 PM

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar has invited an influential Islamic body to visit a state rocked by sectarian violence, official media said on Friday, in an effort to diffuse mounting outcry over the treatment of the Muslim Rohingya.

In a rare conciliatory move over the issue, President Thein Sein said he welcomed a visit by the Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world's largest Muslim grouping, which has urged a probe into violence between Buddhist Rakhine and Rohingya that left scores dead.

"The president said he hoped the OIC secretary could witness the reality (in Rakhine)," state mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar said, adding tens of thousands of displaced people from both sides are being given food and shelter.

Mr Thein Sein's comments came as the visiting foreign minister of Muslim-majority Turkey offered aid to the strife-stricken Rakhine state.

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