Seven ethnic Rakhine dead as Myanmar police open fire at riot

Vastavam web: Myanmar police opened fire on a crowd of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as they tried to seize a government office, in unrest that left seven dead and injured around a dozen more, police said.Several thousand Buddhist protesters had gathered yesterday for a ceremony in Mrauk U, an ancient temple complex that has so far remained unscathed by the military’s crackdown on the region’s minority Rohingya Muslim community.But the clashes came on the same day as a repatriation agreement was signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh to start the return of some 655,000 Rohingya refugees from squalid camps back over the border.

A police spokesman blamed the crowd for “starting the violence” after barging into a district administrative office and hoisting the Rakhine State flag.Mrauk U lies only a few dozen kilometres from the epicentre of violence that saw Rohingya driven in their hundreds of thousands into Bangladesh last August.Rakhine state is bisected by divisions and communal hatreds.