Burma acknowledges mass burnings in Rakhine unrest
Burma’s president has acknowledged major destruction in the west of the country, scene of recent ethnic unrest.
“There have been incidents of whole villages and parts of the towns being burnt down in Rakhine state,” Thein Sein’s spokesman told the BBC.
He was speaking after Human Rights Watch released satellite pictures showing hundreds of buildings destroyed in the coastal town of Kyaukpyu alone.
It says the victims were mostly Muslim Rohingya, targeted by non-Muslims.
Presidential spokesman Zaw Htay told the BBC the government was tightening security in Rakhine state, which is also known as Arakan.
“If necessary, we will send more police and military troops in order to get back stability,” he added.
There is long-standing tension between ethnic Rakhine people, who make up the majority of the state’s population, and Muslims, many of whom are Rohingya and are stateless.