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    Southeast Asia
     Mar 31, '14

Foreign aid agencies flee Myanmar riots
By Min Thein Aung, Kyaw Thu, and Kyaw Kyaw Aung

International aid workers took refuge in police shelters or left the capital of western Myanmar's Rakhine state on Friday after Buddhist mobs attacked offices of foreign non-governmental organizations in two days of violence that left a 13-year-old girl dead.

The girl was accidentally killed on Thursday when security forces fired warning shots to disperse mobs pelting stones and attempting to destroy the UN World Food Program (WFP) warehouse in the Rakhine capital Sittwe, police said.

"Police fired shots and a 13-year-old girl named Ne Ma who lives

in front of the WFP store got shot in her belly," Khaing Kaung San, head of the Sittwe-based development group Wan Latt Foundation, told RFA's Myanmar Service. "We sent her to hospital, but she died 10 minutes after arrival."

Government television reported that at least one other person was injured and nearly 30 houses, seven warehouses and two motor vehicles were damaged when mobs of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists went on a rampage beginning late Wednesday, sparked by reports that a staff member of German medical aid group Malteser International had removed a Buddhist flag from its building.

Buddhist flags have been flown across Sittwe in recent days as a symbol of opposition to Rakhine state's widely despised Rohingya Muslim community, who rights groups say have borne the greatest share of suffering since communal clashes erupted in 2012. More ... .

Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Asia. For original article, see here

Copyright (c) 2014, Radio Free Asia.

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