Myanmar police fire rubber bullets to end sectarian trouble in Mandalay
Myanmar police fired rubber bullets on Wednesday to disperse crowds of Buddhists and Muslims facing off in the second-largest city of Mandalay, police said, in the latest outbreak of trouble in two years of sectarian unrest.
Police deployed more than 600 officers after a crowd of about 300 Buddhists including 30 monks began throwing stones near a tea shop owned by a Muslim man at 11 p.m. (1630 GMT) on Tuesday, according to a statement released by Mandalay police.
“One policeman, three Buddhists and one Muslim were injured by stones in the incident,” the statement said. “Two of the three injured Buddhist men are receiving treatment in Mandalay hospital and the rest got treatment as outpatients.”
Police said they fired three rubber bullets in an attempt to control the crowd, which dispersed at around 3:15 a.m. on Wednesday after monks helped convince people to leave.
More than 200 people have been killed and at least 140,000 displaced in sectarian unrest since June 2012. Most of the victims have been from the minority Muslim population.
A witness who lives in the mostly Muslim neighborhood said a Buddhist mob had gathered in Mandalay after rumors spread that the Muslim owner of a tea shop had raped a Buddhist woman.