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Religious leaders urge end to Myanmar communal clashes

Published on Mar 24, 2013 1:29 PM

YANGON (AFP) - Buddhist and Muslim religious leaders have called for calm in violence-hit central Myanmar and urged the government to step up security for both communities, state media said on Sunday.

The outbreak of religious violence in the town of Meiktila has claimed at least 32 lives and displaced about 9,000 people, according to officials, leaving swathes of the town in ruin and prompting an army-enforced state of emergency.

The Interfaith Friendship Organisation called on the government "to lay effective security plans and provide security to people of the two communities".

The statement, signed by Buddhist and Muslim leaders and carried in the state-mouthpiece New Light of Myanmar, asked followers of different religions to obey the law and "maintain the community harmony with love and kindness".

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