Myanmar city under curfew, clashes on

04 July 2014 BBC Online

A curfew has been imposed in Myanmar's second city, Mandalay, following two nights of violence in which local police say two men died.Reports say a Buddhist man died after being slashed with a sword by Muslims and that another man, a Muslim, was killed on his way to dawn prayers.Four people have now been arrested.The clashes erupted on Tuesday evening after Buddhist gangs damaged Muslim shops and a mosque, leaving five people hurt.The violence sparked over a claim that spread on social media that a Buddhist woman had been raped by one or more Muslim men.The BBC's Jonah Fisher says hundreds of riot police were deployed for a second night on Wednesday as Buddhist mobs -- made up of mainly young men -- continued to roam the city attacking vehicles as well as shops and mosques. Police have said that a man has been charged with rape.Mandalay has more than 200,000 Muslims, a small but significant minority in the city. Muslims are a minority group in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.Myanmar has seen several outbreaks of violence targeting Muslims in the past three years.Much of the violence between the two groups has taken place in Rakhine state in the west of the country, where at least 200 people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced in 2012.But the violence has since spread to parts of central Myanmar as well, with attacks in the towns of Meiktila and Kanbalu in 2013.

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