SITTWE: A government spokesman in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine says the death toll in recent communal violence is now more than 100.
Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said Friday that 112 people had been killed in clashes that began Sunday between members of the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities. He said 72 people were reported injured, including 10 children
The latest outbreak of violence, which prompted Myanmar's main Islamic organisations to cancel celebrations for the four-day Eidul Azha holiday that begins Friday, has drawn a swift and concerned response from the international community.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Thursday said Washington “urges parties to exercise restraint and immediately halt all attacks”, while the United Nations expressed grave concern over the violence.
Myanmar's 800,000 Rohingya are seen as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh by the government and many Burmese, who call them “Bengalis”.
The bloodshed in Rakhine has cast a shadow over widely-praised reforms by President Thein Sein, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners and the election of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.