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Sectarian violence strikes in northern Myanmar

Buddhists gather outside a police station in the town of Lashio in northern Myanmar on Tuesday. They're demanding police turn over a man, said to be a Muslim, who is accused of attacking a Buddhist woman. The trouble sparked after a quarrel between the man and the woman, who sold petrol. Several residents said the man doused the woman in fuel and set her afire. She is now in hospital. A mosque, a Muslim religious school and a dozen shops owned by both Muslims and Buddhists were firebombed in ensuing clashes into Tuesday evening. No one was reported killed. Relative calm returned to the streets of Lashio on Wednesday. But the renewed unrest underlines problems faced by the reform government of President Thein Sein as it struggles to contain sectarian tensions that festered under half a century of military rule.

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