Clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in central Burma kill at least five

At least five people have been killed in fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in the city of Meiktila, in central Burma. The New York Times reports that a mob of Buddhists, including monks, led a rampage through a Muslim neighborhood on Thursday, apparently to retaliate for the death of a monk the day before. A hospital official said children were among those killed.

Buddhists and Muslims have been fighting in the Rakhine state of Western Burma since June 2012, killing at least 150 people. Until now, though, the sectarian conflicts had been confined to Rakhine, where most Muslims are members of a stateless ethnic group called the Rohingya.

Wednesday’s fighting appeared to have started in a Muslim-owned store. Two mosques and a Muslims school were destroyed, along with several Muslim homes.

(Photo: A Meiktila street scene, by Yoav David. CC-BY license.)