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Myanmar government says death toll from recent attacks targeting Rohingya Muslims in central part of the country has risen to 40.

 
This file picture taken on March 21, 2013 shows residents walking past burning houses in riot-hit Meiktila, central Myanmar.
This file picture taken on March 21, 2013 shows residents walking past burning houses in riot-hit Meiktila, central Myanmar.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
State media reported on Tuesday that eight more bodies were found in the wreckage of a riot-hit area in the town of Meiktila. Clashes erupted in Meiktila on March 20 when extremist Buddhists attacked dozens of houses and mosques for three days. Earlier reports said that at least 32 people were killed in the violence that also displaced more than 12,000 people. Vijay Nambiar, the UN's top adviser on Myanmar, toured Meiktila on Sunday and called on the government to punish those responsible for the tragedy. “There is no doubt much of this violence was planned,”  Nambiar said. Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by Buddhist extremists.  Buddhist extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and set fire to their homes in several villages in the state of Rakhine. Myanmar army forces have allegedly provided the extremist Buddhists with containers of petrol for torching the houses of Muslim villagers. Myanmar's government has been accused of failing to protect the Muslim minority.  Rohingyas, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century, are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin.  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued separate statements, calling on Myanmar to take action to protect the Rohingya Muslim population against extremist Buddhists.
 
 

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