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Last Updated: Sat, 23.03.13 15:50

Myanmar President declares state of emergency in Meikhtila after three-day riot

YANGON, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar President U Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in four townships in Meikhtila District of Myanmar's northern Mandalay region as riot escalated after its outbreak on Wednesday, according to state-run radio and television Friday.

Four townships including Meikhtila, Wandwin, Mahlaing and Thazi are covered by the state of emergency.

The declaration is made in view of the fact that administration in the regions can not be carried out effectively by local authorities and for the sake of security, stability and tranquility, the announcement said.

Under the state of emergency, the armed forces would intervene for the restoration of law and order, the announcement added.

The declaration of the state of emergency came one day after the president returned to Nay Pyi Taw from nine-day state visits to New Zealand and Australia on Thursday.

Arson and looting continued on Friday morning, local sources said.

A total of 10 people including one Buddhist monk have been killed and 45 injured in the violence in Meikhtila over the last three days, Meikhtila Hospital confirmed with Xinhua.

The riot was sparked by a brawl between buyers and sellers over a bit of gold clip at a gold shop on Wednesday.

During clashes between two different groups numbering over 200 with dissatisfaction over the trade dispute, the gold shop along with some other nearby ones, religious and office buildings, jeeps and motorcycles were burnt and destroyed by the rioters.

Since the first night of the incident, local authorities imposed curfew on Meiktila banning gathering of people of more than five in an initial bid to restore peace and tranquility.

The authorities have warned that effective action would be taken against those who led the riots to disrupt the community peace.

So far, more than 3,000 people were left homeless out of around 500,000 population in Meikhtila. Nepalnews.com