Friday 18th Jan 2019
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MYANMAR MUSLIMS FACE UNCERTAIN FUTURE AFTER ATTACK

Muslim World

They slept terrified in the fields, watching their homes burn through the night. And when they returned on 1 May, nothing was left but smouldering ash and debris. One day after hundreds of Buddhists armed with bricks stormed a clutch of Muslim villages in the closest explosion of sectarian violence yet to Myanmar’s main city, Yangon, newly displaced Muslims combed through the wasteland of their wrecked lives. Unable to go home, they faced an uncertain future – too fearful of more attacks even to leave. “We ran into the fields and didn’t carry anything with us,” Hla Myint, a 47-year-old father of eight, was reported as saying after the mobs overran his village. Tears welling in his eyes, he added, “Now, we have nothing left.”

Thet Lwin, a deputy commissioner of police for the region, put the casualty toll from 30 April assaults at one dead and nine injured. He said police have detained 18 attackers who destroyed 157 homes and shops and at least two mosques in the town of Okkan, 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Yangon, and three outlying villages. Several Muslims said they didn’t feel safe, but would not leave because they feared more attacks elsewhere. They wondered how they would survive and get food.



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