Burma: unrest could spiral into 'terror acts'

November 02, 2012
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RANGOON, Burma – Communal bloodshed in western Burma could potentially develop into "armed terrorist acts", the government said Wednesday (October 31st), according to AFP. Officials said 180 guns were seized during the new wave of clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state. Dozens have been killed there and entire neighbourhoods levelled, displacing tens of thousands of people.

"The clashes between two communities are likely to turn from normal unrest to armed terrorist acts after the security forces were attacked with handmade guns," a statement on President Thein Sein's website said.

Animosity between majority Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims exploded in June after the apparent rape and murder of an ethnic Rakhine woman sparked a series of revenge attacks.

The latest clashes prompted more than 32,000 people to flee their homes in October alone, many heading to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Fishermen in the Bay of Bengal were asked Thursday to help search for about 130 people missing after a boat filled with Rohingya refugees sank while heading to Malaysia. AFP reported the boat went down off the coast near Bangladesh's border with Burma. Police say only six passengers are known to have survived.

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