4 arrested in Taungdwingyi after attack on Muslim homes, businesses


YANGON — Police have detained at least four people after a crowd attacked Muslim houses and shopfronts in Magway Region on Sunday night.

According to the government’s Information Committee, a riot broke out when at least 50 young men pelted a house in Taungdwingyi with stones fired from slingshots.

The crowd then moved through the town’s Shwe Kyar Inn (1) ward, attacking several homes and destroying shopfronts along the path while singing the Myanmar national anthem. Police successfully dispersed the crowd outside the local mosque before the building could be damaged.

Police confirmed Monday that Hnin Ko Ko Lynn, 30, was arrested on suspicion of leading the riot that evening. Another three were arrested the following morning.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

Local Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Min Thein (National League for Democracy, Taungdwingyi) said police and locals believed that the four suspects and the occupant of the first besieged home had an existing dispute, and the riot leaders had attempted to build support by inciting religious tensions.

“I think it was the first time in Taungdwingyi,” he said. “I have never seen religious conflict here before. Both communities have been peaceful.”

Although some shops have yet to reopen, authorities say the situation is now calm. Magway Chief Minister U Aung Moe Nyo visited the town on Monday to promise more security in the town.

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar