Myanmar President visits conflict areas as new spate of anti-Muslim attacks erupt
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - Myanmar President Thein Sein traveled to Myanmar's conflict-torn west as a new spate of mob-led arson attacks against Muslim homes erupted on Tuesday, his first visit to the divided region since sectarian violence broke out there more than a year ago.
A senior official in the President's office said Mr Thein Sein arrived in the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe and would be expected to travel to several more towns in the area, including Maungdaw to the north and Thandwe to the south, where Buddhist mobs started torching Muslim homes Sunday.
The official, who declined to be identified because he was unauthorized to speak about the sensitive trip, said only that Mr Thein Sein "is going there to help find a long-term solution to the problem".
Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation, has been grappling with Buddhist-Muslim violence that has killed hundreds of people and sent 140,000 more fleeing since June 2012, the majority of them Muslims. Initially limited to Rakhine state, the unrest spread earlier this year to several other cities in the country.