The city of Lashio in northern Myanmar was calm yesterday, residents and the central government said, after violence between Buddhists and Muslims the previous day highlighted the tension between the communities after deadly unrest over the past year.
State-run MRTV television said a mosque, a Muslim religious school and a number of stores were gutted by fires started by Buddhists in Lashio, in Shan state.
“The situation in Lashio this morning is calm. There has been no casualty in the incident so far. The Tatmadaw [military] and Myanmar Police Force are taking care of security measures,” presidential spokesman Ye Htut said in a statement.
Tuesday’s unrest in Lashio was sparked by a quarrel between two people, named by state media as Aye Aye Win, 24, a Buddhist woman who sold gasoline, and Ne Win, a Muslim man aged 48.
MRTV television said Ne Win poured gasoline over Aye Aye Win and set her on fire. She was in hospital, it said.
After police detained Ne Win, Buddhists surrounded the police station and demanded he be handed over. When they refused, the crowd went on the rampage, attacking Myoma Mosque near Lashio market, residents said.
The authorities moved quickly to restore order late on Tuesday by banning unlawful assembly under a state of emergency.