Myanmar is burning incenses of Buddhist and Hindu deities in protest of the burning of their sacred relics by a mob that attacked a temple in the eastern coastal city of Cox’s Bazar last month.
The Rohingya Muslim minority has been persecuted for centuries, but the latest outrage has prompted anger in the country’s Buddhist majority.
Some Muslims burned incense at a mosque in the southern city of Maungdaw last week, and two Muslims were killed in clashes with police on Saturday, the latest incident of religious violence in the predominantly Muslim country.
The Buddhist community in the city of Sittwe says the mob has used Buddhist holy texts, including the Lotus Sutra, as justification to target the mosque.
It says the incense has been burned and torched, and some people have suffered injuries.
The city’s chief police chief said Saturday the temple was attacked because it was in violation of the tenets of Buddhism.
He also said the mob was attacking the mosque’s walls.
A Buddhist woman burns incense during a rally in Maungdu, western Myanmar.
The protesters are demanding that Myanmar’s government stop burning sacred incense and start protecting the Muslim minority, including Rohingya Muslims, a Rohingya minority.
(Beng Tan/Reuters)A local Muslim leader says the mobs have targeted mosques and other sites in Sittgwe.
The temple has been the scene of some of the worst religious violence of the past year.
The violence is triggered when mobs burn Buddhist sacred objects, especially statues of the Buddha.
In Maungi province, a Muslim group says a Buddhist man was killed and several people were injured in a clash between police and protesters last week in the district of Mwek-Arak district.
The local police chief, who did not want to be identified, said the temple had been attacked because the monks were breaking rules by not burning their sacred incenses.
The mob is also accusing the monks of breaking rules about not wearing the skullcap that has become an icon of the region’s Buddhism.
The protesters say they want to demand an apology and a promise to protect the Muslim community.
Associated Press writer Samiuddin Khan in Mwektaw in the state of Rakhine has been reporting from Myanmar for the Associated Press.