Myanmar Mob Burns Down Mosque, Second This Week
HPAKANT, Myanmar, July 2 (UPI) -- A mob burned down a mosque in northern Myanmar, the second attack in a little more than one week.
Several hundred villagers wielding sticks, knives and other weapons raided and burned the structure around 3:30 p.m. Friday, according to the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar state-newspaper.
Local authorities and security forces said they tried to disperse the mob but that the mob was unresponsive and entirely beyond control.
No arrests were made and an investigation has been launched.
The mosque administration had failed to meet a Thursday deadline to raze the building to make way for a bridge. Ma Ba Tha, a Buddhist nationalist group, says the mosque was built without permission from the government, but Thein Aung, chairman of the mosque's caretaker group, claims the structure was built more than 20 years ago.
On June 23, a Buddhist mob about 200 targeted a mosque and other religious buildings in a Muslim-dominated village in the Bago region. One Muslim man was injured and the minority group sought refuge in a neighboring town.
Myanmar's government won't grant citizenship to the country's Rohingya muslims.
About 1.1 million people are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and about 140,000 people -- mostly Rohingyas -- have been living in camps in Rakhine during a clash between the majority Buddhists and Rohingyas in 2012.